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.
Flu Vaccine And Coronavirus
Flu vaccination is important because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.
When Should I Get Vaccinated
You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. Vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
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What About The Nasal Spray Vaccine
In addition to the flu shot, a nasal spray vaccine is available for non-pregnant individuals who are between the ages of 2 and 49. This vaccine uses a weakened form of influenza that cant cause disease.
As with the flu shot, people who have a mild illness can receive the nasal spray vaccine. However, people with moderate to severe illnesses may need to wait until theyve recovered.
Why Should People Get Vaccinated Against Flu
Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and flu can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work or it can result in more serious illness. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. While some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.
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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
When Should My Child Get A Flu Vaccine
Doctors recommend that your child get a flu vaccine every year in the fall, starting when he or she is 6 months old. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age may need 2 doses for best protection.
- CDC recommends a flu vaccine by the end of October, before flu begins spreading in your community. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.
- Children 6 months through 8 years getting a flu vaccine for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of flu vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine. The first dose should be given as soon as vaccine becomes available.
- If your child previously got two doses of flu vaccine , he only needs one dose of flu vaccine this season.
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone ages six months and older. Pregnant women should get a flu vaccine during each pregnancy. Flu vaccines given during pregnancy help protect both the mother and her baby from flu.
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Possible Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
The influenza vaccine can cause side effects. In children under 5 years, these reactions may be more obvious.
Common side effects of influenza vaccine include:
- drowsiness or tiredness
- localised pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- occasionally, an injection-site lump that may last many weeks but needs no treatment
- low-grade temperature .
Can I Get More Than One Vaccine During The Same Visit
If you need more than one vaccine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you should get them all in one visit, or space them out.
Its very common to bundle immunizations for children, and there are many cases where adults may get two vaccines at the same time.
Shingrix, which is recommended to prevent shingles in adults 50 and older, can be given during the same appointment as a flu shot, according to the CDC.
The agency has also given the green light for people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster shot , and the flu shot during the same visit.
In fact, the CDC says that the COVID-19 vaccine can be given without regard to the timing of any other vaccine.
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What Is The Recommended Site And Needle Length For Giving Influenza Vaccine To Adults By Intramuscular Injection
- Use a – to 1-inch needle for men and women who weigh less than 130 pounds . Insert the needle at a 90-degree angle and stretch the skin flat between thumb and forefinger.
- Use a 1-inch needle for men and women who weigh 130152 pounds .
- Use a 1- to 1½-inch needle for women who weigh 152200 pounds and men who weigh 152260 pounds .
- Use a 1½-inch needle for women who weigh more than 200 pounds and men who weigh more than 260 pounds .
CDC has vaccine administration resources for clinicians administering influenza vaccine, including a needle length and gauge chart and demonstration videos for intramuscular injection and intranasal administration.
Additional information on vaccine administration and safe injection practices can be found in the following resources:
Can My Child Get The Flu Vaccine At The Same Time As Another Childhood Vaccine Including The Covid
Yes. It is safe to get the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time as any childhood vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Many children are behind with their childhood vaccines or boosters because of the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the vaccines at the same time can help them catch up more quickly.
For children 5 to 11 years old, it may be best to wait at least 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines. The reason for this is that if any side effects happen, doctors will know which vaccine they are related to. But only space out vaccines if you are sure that no other vaccines your child needs will be given late.
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How The Vaccine Can Prevent Flu
The vaccine doesn’t cause flu. The nasal spray vaccine contains weakened live viruses that help your child build up immunity to the flu.
If your child has a weakened immune system, they may not be able to handle the weakened viruses in the vaccine. You should tell this to the person giving the vaccine to your child.
A child with a weakened immune system will need the flu vaccine by injection.
Pregnancy And Influenza Immunisation
Pregnant women are at increased risk of complications from influenza. Influenza vaccine is strongly recommended and safe for pregnant women at any time during pregnancy. It can also be safely given while breastfeeding.
Influenza vaccination of pregnant women also protects infants against influenza for the first 6 months after birth due to transplacental transfer of antibodies from the vaccinated woman to the unborn baby.
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Can I Still Get The Flu If I’ve Been Vaccinated
Yes. Those who have been vaccinated may still get the flu. This can be caused by one or more of the following:
- Exposure to the virus before vaccination
- Exposure to the virus during the two-week period after receiving vaccination, before immunity develops.
- The possible strains of the flu that may be circulating are not included in the flu vaccine.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration reviews the flu data and determines the combination of viruses most likely to prevent the flu each year. Despite the amount of research that goes into the flu vaccine composition, the virus is constantly changing.
Therefore, the vaccine may not be a perfect match to the current circulating virus. The good news is, those who have been vaccinated generally have a milder case of flu than those who are unvaccinated.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
There are some people who should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. These include:
- People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
- People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome within six weeks of getting a previous influenza vaccine.
- Influenza vaccine is not approved for use in children less than 6 months of age.
- People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.
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When Should I Take Tamiflu
Tamiflu is approved to treat influenza in people whose symptoms have not lasted longer than two days
The literature on antivirals for influenza shows that they work best when taken 48 to 72 hours after the onset of flu symptoms, explains Susan Rehm, MD, vice chair of the department of infectious disease at the Cleveland Clinic. If you take antivirals after that window, “the potential benefits are less,” she notes.
That said, doctors might prescribe Tamiflu to people who are immunocompromised or at risk of flu-related complications, even if the 72-hour period has passed, Dr. Rehm says. Even healthy people may develop complications of influenza, like bacterial pneumonia, she says.
Can I Skip The Flu Shot And Take Tamiflu Instead
Nopethe drug is not a substitute for early flu vaccination, according to the drugs manufacturer. Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. Your protection lasts through the entire season. Plus, Tamiflu is expensive. Consumer Reports quoted the cost of a five-day course as at least $100.
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What Kinds Of Flu Vaccines Are Available
CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine during the 2021-2022 influenza season. Available influenza vaccines include quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated influenza vaccine . No preference is expressed for any influenza vaccine over another.
Quadrivalent flu vaccines include:
Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over 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.
Who Should Vaccinate?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season with rare exception. CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-2011 influenza season.
More information is available at Who Needs a Flu Vaccine.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?
When should I get vaccinated?
What This Means For You
As flu season approaches, the CDC is advising people to get their flu shot by the end of October. If you have not yet received all your initial COVID vaccine dose or doses, or if you are eligible for a booster dose, its safe to get both vaccines on the same day.
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.
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Pneumococcal Diseases & Pneumonia Shots
There is a category of diseases called pneumococcal disease, of which pneumonia is one of the most dangerousthe other most dangerous being meningitis. People with diabetes are about three times more likely to die with flu and pneumococcal diseases, yet most dont get a simple, safe pneumonia shot.
Symptoms of pneumonia include:
Cough that can produce mucus that is gray, yellow, or streaked with blood Chest pain
The Flu Shot Is Effective
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from season to season. It depends on:
- how well the vaccine matches with the circulating flu viruses
- the health and age of the person getting the flu shot
The viruses circulating in the population can sometimes change during the time it takes to produce a vaccine. When this happens during the flu season, the flu shot may not work as well as expected.
It’s also important to remember that the flu shot protects against several different flu viruses each season. The seasonal flu shot can still provide protection against the remaining 2 or 3 viruses, even when theres:
- a less-than-ideal match
- lower effectiveness against one virus
If you do get the flu, the flu shot may reduce the severity of flu-related complications.
Getting your flu shot is still the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu and flu-related complications.
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Managing Side Effects After Immunisation
Common side effects following immunisation are usually mild and temporary . Specific treatment is not usually required. There are several treatment options that can reduce the side effects of the vaccine including:
- Drinking extra fluids and not overdressing if there is a fever.
- Although routine use of paracetamol after vaccination is not recommended, if pain and fever are present, paracetamol can be given check the label for the correct dose or speak with your pharmacist .
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.
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Who Should Get Vaccinated
- Adults and children who are 6 months of age and older
- This includes:
- Anyone 65 years and older
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
- Adults and children 6 months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of
- a metabolic disease
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic respiratory disease
- chronic cardiac disease
- weakened immune system
Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine This Season
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza. A full listing of people at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications is available.
Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people.
- There are flu shots approved for use in children as young as 6 months old and flu shots approved for use in adults 65 years and older.
- Flu shots also are recommended for pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in non-pregnant people who are 2 years through 49 years of age. People who are pregnant and people with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.
There are many vaccine options to choose from. CDC does not recommend any one flu vaccine over another. 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 flu vaccine to get, talk to your doctor or other health care professional. More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated.
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