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How Can I Get The Flu

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How to determine if you really have the flu

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Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine

Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated for flu. It is especially important that the people in one of the groups listed below get a flu shot every year as they are more likely to get severely ill with flu.

  • Children aged 6 months through 18 years
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • Pregnant and postpartum women
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, neurologic and neuromuscular conditions and weakened immune systems
  • People with muscle and nerve disorders that make it difficult to breath or swallow
  • Children aged 6 months through 18 years on long-term aspirin therapy
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities
  • Anyone who might transmit flu to someone at risk. For example, health care workers, including those in training, emergency response workers, direct care staff, people who live with or care for anyone on the list above, and people who live with or care for infants under 6 months of age, including parents, siblings, and daycare providers

What Is Herd Immunity

Another term for herd immunity is “community immunity.” When enough people in a community are vaccinated against a particular virus, the virus won’t be able to easily spread. Some people can’t get vaccinated and others are vaccinated but don’t have strong immune responses. These people are especially vulnerable and rely on herd immunity for protection against diseases. Every time you get vaccinated you are protecting yourself, your family, and your community.

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Similarities Between The Symptoms Of The Flu And Covid

The flu and COVID-19 are different viruses. They’re very contagious and have similar symptoms. This can make it hard to tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 when symptoms appear.

If you start to develop symptoms, follow the same precautions taken for COVID-19.

This year is more important than ever for everyone 6 months and older to get the flu shot. This will help prevent the flu and flu-related complications. Preventing the flu will also help reduce stress on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can I Have The Flu Vaccine If I Take Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Get the Flu Shot

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.

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Can You Still Get Influenza Even If Youve Had The Flu Shot

Restrictions have eased, international borders are open and influenza is back in Australia after a two-year absence.

Suddenly, major flu outbreaks are occurring across the country, catching many off guard.

Flu vaccinations aim to protect against four influenza viruses that cause disease in humans .

But vaccine-mediated protection varies each year depending on how well the vaccine matches the disease-causing influenza viruses that are circulating at a given time. Vaccine effectiveness a real-world measure based on the proportion of vaccinated people who still develop the flu ranges from 16% to 60%.

However, its still important to get your flu shot. If youve been vaccinated and still get the flu, youre less likely to get as sick.

A Weakened Immune System Increases Your Risk

If you have a weakened or impaired immune system, it increases your chances of getting the flu, even if you’ve been vaccinated. People with an impaired immune system include infants, children, and the elderly.

The reason people with impaired immune systems are at greater risk of getting sick, even after vaccination, is because the flu vaccine relies on the strength of your immune system to work.

After you receive the flu vaccine, the viral strains come into contact with your body’s B cells, a special type of cell whose job is to recognize foreign invaders and prepare your body to fight them. So when your B cells spot a full-strength virus, they produce antibodies that attach themselves to the virus and, eventually, another type of immune system cell called phagocytes overwhelm and destroy the virus.

But people with impaired immune systems don’t produce as many antibodies and aren’t as protected.

For example, a 2019 study published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe showed that elderly participants who got a flu vaccine had fewer antibodies to target the flu virus than younger participants, and that made it harder for them to fight infection.

That’s why the CDC offers a high dose vaccine for certain people over the age of 65. The high dose vaccine contains four times as many inactive viruses as the regular flu shot and has been proven to trigger a stronger immune response for greater protection.

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Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have An Egg Allergy

The influenza vaccine is typically grown in eggs. But the traces of egg protein that remain after the vaccine is made are so tiny that the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy says both adults and children with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated against the flu. The risk of anaphylaxis after vaccination is very low, estimated at 1.35 cases per 1 million doses.

It is rare for people with egg allergy to experience other side effects, such as hives, wheezing, vomiting or abdominal pain, after getting the flu shot. If you are concerned, ask your doctor if you, or your child, can be observed by staff for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine .

Who Should Get The Flu Shot

How to Know if You Have the Flu: Flu Symptoms

Flu shots are important for everyone older than six months. They are especially important for certain people, including older adults, younger children, healthcare workers, pregnant women, people with a weakened immune system, and people with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and asthma.

After you get a flu shot, you might feel achy or have a low-grade fever. This means that your body is building an immune response to the flu virus. These mild side effects are not as bad as getting the flu. The flu causes most people to stay in bed for a week. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot.

Flu vaccine is safe and is the best defense against the flu. The Office of Immunization provides flu vaccination for at no cost for students in kindergarten through grade 12 at school-based clinics. Most evening school clinics are open to the public . For the most up-to-date list of school clinics and to register for a school clinic, visit There are also a number of community clinics open to the public which offer enhanced flu vaccine for people 65 years of age and older.

Click on the image or here to search for a clinic site near you.

Please note: Some flu vaccine clinic sites will not allow walk-ins. Please register online or call first to make an appointment.

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What Should I Do If I Get Sick

Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a higher-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider .

Certain people are at increased risk of serious flu-related complications . For a full list of people at increased risk of flu-related complications, see People at Higher Risk of Developing FluRelated Complications. If you are in a higher-risk group and develop flu symptoms, its best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your higher-risk status for flu. CDC recommends that people at higher risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset.

Its Never Too Late To Get The Flu Vaccine

Everyone should get an annual flu shot. If you havent had your flu shot this year, its never too late to be vaccinated. Particularly if youre in an at-risk group and eligible for free flu vaccination.

The flu vaccination is free for:

  • children aged 6 months to under 5 years
  • pregnant women
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people with chronic medical conditions.

You can get your flu shot from a range of providers including GPs, community health centres and some pharmacies.

Please note, some doctors or other immunisation providers may charge a consultation fee. Check with your local immunisation provider to see whether there are any costs involved.

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Common Symptoms Of A Cold The Flu And Covid

The chart below shows common symptoms. Not everyone will have these symptoms. Your symptoms may be more or less severe, or you may only have a few. If you feel sick, stay home and call your doctor

Common Symptoms
  • Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

How Effective Is The Flu Shot

Where Can I Get My Flu Shot?

The vaccine formulation changes every year to try to “match” the influenza viruses that are spreading in our communities. The vaccine is more effective when it has a good match. Even if a flu vaccine was not well-matched, it is still beneficial to get vaccinated. If you do get the flu after vaccination, influenza illness may be less severe than if you had not been vaccinated. Getting vaccinated also helps to protect your community by promoting herd immunity.

How well the vaccine works varies from year to year. Overall, receiving the flu vaccine usually reduces the risk of getting the flu by between 40% and 60% among most people when the vaccine is well-matched with the isolated virus. Some people respond better than others to the flu vaccine and build stronger immunity. People that are older than 65 years typically build weaker immune responses to the influenza vaccine which is why there are special flu vaccines made especially for seniors.

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Why Is It Important To Get A Flu Shot During The Covid

For the upcoming flu season, flu vaccination will be very important to reduce flu because it can help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the population and lessen the resulting burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A flu vaccine may also provide several individual health benefits, including keeping you from getting sick with flu, reducing the severity of your illness if you do get flu and reducing your risk of a flu-associated hospitalization.

CKD causes a decreased immune response, increasing your vulnerability to infections. You face a greater risk of getting certain diseases and developing severe complications. Also, patients with CKD have a higher risk of death from the flu.

If you have CKD, are on dialysis or have received a kidney transplant, ask your healthcare professional about getting the flu shot.

How Will I Know If I Have The Flu Or Covid

The flu virus and COVID-19 have symptoms which overlap, such a high temperature or persistent cough. It may be difficult to tell which virus you have. For this reason, its really important that you have a flu vaccination if you are eligible, and that you continue to follow the guidance on self-isolation and testing at if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Where vaccines are available, its vital that we use them to help keep everyone safe. Look out for updates from your local GP or NHS team and book your vaccination as soon as they are available.

More information can be found at

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How Is The Flu Diagnosed

Often, how a child looks is enough for health care providers to diagnose the flu. Kids who have it usually look ill and miserable.

Other infections can cause symptoms similar to the flu. So if health care providers need to be sure that someone has influenza, they might do a test. They’ll take a sample of mucus by wiping a long cotton swab inside the nose or throat. Results might be ready quickly, or can take longer if the test is sent to a lab.

Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot Protect Yourself And Others This Flu Season

Can I Get the Flu Shot and COVID Vaccine at the Same Time?

The flu isnt like the common cold, it can hit quickly and last for weeks. For some people, the flu can have serious and devastating outcomes. Its important everyone in the community plays their part in helping stop the spread of flu.

Our message is simple: Don’t forget your flu shot. Protect yourself and others this flu season.

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Is The Flu Vaccination Safe

The flu vaccination is safe and effective and is given annually. It cannot give you the flu. It does not protect you from COVID-19 or seasonal coughs and colds, but it does give protection against the strains of flu virus that will be circulating this year.

Adults usually receive the flu vaccination in injection form, and children usually receive a nasal spray.

When To Get The Flu Shot

Flu season typically runs from late fall to early spring.

Flu shots are now available for all Ontarians. You should get a flu shot as soon as possible because it takes two weeks to take effect.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization now recommends that COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as the flu vaccine.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacy to learn more.

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Who Should You Get A Flu Vaccine And Which One Should You Choose

Flu typically spreads in the fall and winter. It usually starts to spread in October and peaks between December and February. That’s why this time is called the flu season.

It takes at least two weeks for your flu vaccine to start working, so try to get vaccinated by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated after October can still help protect you from the flu. Because older adults may lose immunity from a flu vaccine more quickly, try to avoid getting vaccinated too early .

Several flu vaccines are available. There are also two types of high-dose vaccinations specifically for people 65 years and older that create a stronger immune response after vaccination. Talk with your health care provider or pharmacist about which vaccine is best for you.

What Do Seniors Need To Know About The Flu Vaccine

Should I get the Flu Shot?

Compared to younger adults, people who are 65 years and older have a greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. It has been estimated that in recent years seniors have accounted for 50-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations and 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths. In addition, seniors typically develop weaker immune responses to the flu vaccine. That’s why there are special flu vaccines specifically designed for seniors: the high-dose flu vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine.

Compared to a regular flu shot, the high-dose vaccine has four times the amount of antigen, which is part of the vaccine that triggers the immune response. The adjuvanted flu vaccine contains an extra substance called an adjuvant that helps the vaccine work better by giving you a stronger immune response. Both the high-dose vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine have demonstrated stronger immune responses in persons 65 years and older as compared to those who received the standard flu shot. Note that older adults can get any flu vaccine approved for use in their age group, including standard-dose flu vaccine.

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We Dont Know Which Subtypes Will Circulate In Australia

Data about flu vaccine effectiveness in the southern hemisphere 2022 winter isnt yet available, and its unclear how protective the current vaccine is against the currently circulating disease-causing subtypes.

While H3N2 viruses appears to be driving some disease now, other flu viruses may become more prevalent later in the season.

The flu vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine, so in addition to influenza A H3N2, it will protect against another influenza A subtype and two distinct lineages of influenza B virus. These viruses dont change as rapidly as H3N2, so its more likely the vaccine will give better protection against these other influenza viruses.

Even if vaccine protection against H3N2 is lower than usual this year, the vaccine could make the difference between recovering at home versus ending up in hospital.

Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine

Nationally, influenza vaccination prevented an estimated 7.52 million illnesses, 3.69 million medical visits, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths due to influenza during the 2019-2020 season. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through the community.

It is especially important to get the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Flu vaccination reduces the prevalence and severity of illness caused by flu, reducing symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19
  • It will reduce the overall burden of respiratory illness that will protect people at higher risk for severe illness of both flu and COVID-19
  • The reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions from flu vaccination will alleviate stress on the health care system

For additional information, please see the CDC page: This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!

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