Who Can Get The Flu Vaccine
An annual flu vaccination is provided through the National Immunisation Program for most people in the community who are at an increased risk of serious complications.
In Victoria, an annual vaccination against influenza is free for:
- children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
- people who have medical conditions that put them at risk of serious complications of influenza
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months and over
- pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- people 65 years and over.
Contact your doctor or immunisation provider for further information about eligibility. People not covered by these categories can also have an annual flu immunisation, but it is not available for free.
How To Protect You And Your Family From The Flu
- Get the Flu Vaccine
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash after using it. If you do not have a tissue, cover your coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow, not your bare hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, it is recommended that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
If Your Cold Symptoms Are Mild You Should Be Able To Get Your Shot
We simply dont have much research analyzing outcomes among people who have a cold or another mild illness and get their initial COVID-19 vaccine doses or a booster. There is, however, clear precedent from other types of vaccines particularly childhood vaccines saying its safe to get a shot if youre somewhat under the weather with an illness like a cold, an ear infection, a low-grade fever or mild diarrhea.
And experts like Fisher say its OK to extrapolate from what we know about other vaccines and apply it to COVID-19 boosters.
We very strongly recommend that a mild illness not keep you from getting whatever vaccines youre scheduled to get, whether thats the flu shot or COVID-19 booster or whatever, she said.
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Can The Flu Shot Give Me The Flu
No. All flu vaccines used in Australia are inactivated, which means they do not contain the live flu virus so you can’t catch the flu from the vaccine.
Less than 1 in 6 people experience side effects from the flu shot that are similar to the early signs of the flu. These may include fever, tiredness and muscle aches. These side effects can start within a few hours of vaccination and sometimes last for 1 to 2 days. They usually go away on their own, once your body has developed an immune response to the vaccine, which will protect you from the flu virus.
Its important to remember that the side effects show the vaccine is triggering an immune response, which is what its designed to do.
What Are The Types Of Flu Vaccines
Two types of flu vaccine are available for the 20202021 flu season. Both protect against the four types of influenza virus that are causing disease this season::
- the flu shot, which is injected with a needle
- the nasal spray, a mist which gets sprayed into the nostrils
In the past, the nasal spray vaccine wasn’t recommended for kids because it didn’t seem to work well enough. The newer version appears to work as well as the shot. So either vaccine can be given this year, depending on the child’s age and general health.
The nasal spray is only for healthy people ages 249. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine.
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When Should People Get The Flu Vaccine
Flu season runs from October to May. It’s best to get a flu vaccine as early in the season as possible, ideally by the end of October. This gives the body a chance to make antibodies that protect from the flu. But getting a flu vaccine later in the season is better than not getting it at all. Getting a missed flu vaccine late in the season is especially important for people who travel. That’s because the flu can be active around the globe from April to September.
Why Do I Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year
A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, a persons immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.
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/7are There Risks Of Getting Vaccinated When You Are Sick
The only real concern of getting vaccinated when a person is sick that the vaccine dose may increase the severity of your symptoms. It can be harder to distinguish your illness from that of the reactogenic vaccine reactions. In some cases, it can lead to serious side-effects, even if rare and complicate your recovery.
The best course of action to take would be to talk to a doctor, or authorities at the vaccination centre beforehand to alert them about the problem at hand, and take the neccessary course of action.
Reducing The Spread Of Infection
It is essential that all individuals with the signs/symptoms of the flu do the following:Stay Home. Avoid spreading the infection to family, colleagues, and patients. If symptoms begin while at school, students should report their symptoms to their college and go home. Students engaged in clinical activities should immediately stop patient care activities, wear a face mask, report their symptoms to their immediate supervisor, and remove themselves from the clinical site.Call for an Appointment if you are in a high risk group and are experiencing flu symptoms, or feel that your symptoms warrant medical attention. To protect the safety of your classmates, DO NOT WALK INTO STUDENT HEALTH WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT. Individuals who are experiencing flu symptoms will be required to wear a mask in the waiting area. When necessary, arrangements will be made for an alternate entrance to Student Health Services clinic.
Infection Control Measures include:
- Cough Etiquette – Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or with the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. You can also use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever .
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Going Out In The Cold Or With A Wet Head Will Cause A Cold
Youve heard them all before from your mother when you were a kid, and you may have told your kids the same thing, but the truth is youre no less likely to catch a cold if youre warm and dry indoors than if youre wet and cold outside. Viral colds tend to be more common this time of year for a few reasons. Its colder outside, so we spend more time indoors in closer contact with each other when someone sneezes or coughs, youre more likely to be close to them and catch their cold. Also, viruses tend to live longer in lower winter humidity, so they stick around longer. But actually being wet or cold doesnt make you more likely to get sick. So while you may think those teenagers wearing shorts and no hats with wet hair are crazy walking around like that when its freezing, theyre not any more likely to get sick than if they had dry hair and were all bundled up.
Dr. Wolf, a Kids Plus Doc since 2000, is a Shareholder and CFO of the practice.
Misconceptions About Flu Vaccines
Can a flu vaccine give you flu?
No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle are made with either inactivated viruses, or with only a single protein from the flu virus. The nasal spray vaccine contains live viruses that are attenuated so that they will not cause illness.
Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over the others?
For the 2021-2022 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, influenza vaccine that is appropriate for the recipients age and health status, including inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated nasal spray influenza vaccine with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.
There are many vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.
Is it better to get sick with flu than to get a flu vaccine?
Do I really need a flu vaccine every year?
Why do some people not feel well after getting a seasonal flu vaccine?
- Carolyn Bridges et al. . Effectiveness and cost-benefit of influenza vaccination of healthy working adults: A randomized controlled trialexternal icon.
What about serious reactions to flu vaccine?
Can vaccinating someone twice provide added immunity?
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Is The Flu Vaccine Safe
The flu vaccine is safe for most people and is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. People who should not receive flu vaccines are those who have had a severe allergic reaction to a flu or other vaccine in the past and those who have had a condition called Guillan-Barre syndrome.
If you have questions about your specific medical conditions, call your doctor to ask about if its safe for you to get a flu vaccine.
People Who Need More Than One Flu Vaccine A Year
There are some people who are recommended to have a second dose of the influenza vaccine within the space of one year.
- Children less than 9 years receiving their influenza vaccine for the first time require 2 doses 4 weeks apart for an adequate immune response.
- People who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant and are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time after transplant.
- Pregnant women, who may be vaccinated with the next seasons influenza vaccine if it becomes available in the latter part of their pregnancy, even if they were vaccinated with the previous seasons vaccine prior to or earlier in pregnancy.
- Overseas travellers, who may benefit from a second dose of this seasons influenza vaccine if going to the northern hemisphere winter and receiving the northern hemisphere formulation there is not feasible.
Please check with your GP to find out whether you fall into one of these categories.
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Flu Vaccine For Frontline Health And Social Care Workers
If you’re a frontline health and social care worker, your employer should offer you a flu vaccine. They may give the vaccine at your workplace.
You can also have an NHS flu vaccine at a GP surgery or a pharmacy if:
- you’re a health or social care worker employed by a registered residential care or nursing home, registered homecare organisation or a hospice
- you work in NHS primary care and have direct contact with patients this includes contractors, non-clinical staff and locums
- you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets, or both
Who Should Be Immunised Against Flu
Immunisation for the flu is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over.
Some people are more at risk of complications from influenza and are eligible for free vaccination.
People with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity are most at risk and should be immunised against influenza. They include:
- anyone aged 65 years and older
- pregnant women
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from 6 months and over
- people 6 months or older with:
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Who Should Not Have The Flu Vaccine
Most adults can have the flu vaccine, but you should avoid it if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.
You may be at risk of an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine injection if you have an egg allergy. This is because some flu vaccines are made using eggs.
Ask a GP or pharmacist for a low-egg or egg-free vaccine.
If you’re ill with a high temperature, it’s best to wait until you’re better before having the flu vaccine.
Is The Influenza Vaccine Safe For Pregnant Women
The influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women. The influenza vaccine is safe to have at any stage of pregnancy and will protect both mother and baby. Getting sick with the influenza virus while pregnant can lead to serious complications. Influenza vaccination during pregnancy also protects babies after birth.
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Can I Have The Flu Vaccine If I Take Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a type of medicine used to treat some cancers, including metastatic melanoma, renal clear cell carcinoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, non-small celllung cancer and other solid organ tumours. Checkpoint inhibitors include ipilimumab, nivolumab and pembrolizumab.
People taking checkpoint inhibitors may have a higher risk of immune-related side effects following influenza vaccination. Talk to your oncologist about the risks and benefits of the flu shot.
For more information on the flu vaccine, go to the Department of Health website or call the National Immunisation Hotline on 1800 671 811.
When Not To Wait
The CDC recommends the annual flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months with a few exceptions.
If you’re not dealing with a moderate to severe illness, you should have no problem with the vaccine and should not hold off. A cough, congestion, headache, and sore throat won’t affect your body’s response to the flu shot.
The nasal spray flu vaccine may be a different story. If you’re congested, you may need to wait until your sinuses clear up. Otherwise, you risk not getting the full benefit of the vaccine.
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When Is The Best Time To Get The Influenza Vaccine
The best time to get the influenza vaccine is before winter and flu season. It takes about two weeks to develop immunity following vaccination. While protection is generally expected to last for the whole season, optimal protection against influenza occurs within the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination. As the influenza virus is in the community all year it is never too late to have the vaccination.
Why Is The Flu Vaccine Recommended
While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it still greatly reduces a person’s chances of catching the flu, which can be very serious. It also can make symptoms less severe if someone does still get the flu after immunization.
Even if you or your kids got the flu vaccine last year, that won’t protect you this year, because flu viruses change. That’s why the vaccine is updated each year to include the most current types of the virus.
Sometimes the same types are included in the vaccine one year after the next. Even then, it’s still important to get the yearly flu vaccine because the body’s immunity against the influenza virus declines over time.
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Dispelling Misinformation About The Flu Vaccine Sickness Treatment And Recovery
If you’ve ever had the , you know how sick you can be. Chances are good that some of the advice friends and family gave you about avoiding or dealing with the flu was wrong. There seems to be no shortage of misinformation and bad advice when it comes to dealing with the flu and the flu shot.
Here are 10 common myths about the flu.