What Protection Does A Flu Vaccine Provide If I Do Get Sick With Flu
Some people who get vaccinated may still get sick. However, flu vaccination has been shown in some studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized adults with flu. Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with flu was 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than someone who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.
Considerations For Getting A Covid
Its safe for your health care provider to administer a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. If youre 12 years of age or older, you may get the flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. You may also get it any time before or after you receive the flu shot.
For children aged 5 to 11, the National Advisory Council on Immunization recommends a 14-day interval between a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines. This is to help better monitor for possible side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Provinces and territories will decide on an interval for this age group as part of their vaccination programs.
Talk to a health care provider or consult your provincial or territorial public health authority for the latest guidance.
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How Safe Is The Flu Vaccine
The influenza vaccine is very safe. It cannot cause the flu. Side effects are usually mild and can include:
- mild soreness where the needle went into the arm for 1 to 2 days.
- a mild fever or aches for the first day or 2 after immunization.
Do not give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen before or around the time of vaccination as it does not prevent the pain of injection and it could have an impact on how well the vaccine works. These medications can be used to treat fever, pain, or other bothersome side effects if they develop after vaccination.
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There Are Many Places To Get Your Flu Shot
Below are locations where flu shots are often available at no-cost for the uninsured or underinsured. Call ahead for shot availability.
Many pharmacies, community health centers, mobile and acute care clinics offer a variety of basic health services, too, that can be scheduled in one visit. Please contact those locations for more information and services provided.
Where To Get A Flu Shot
During flu season you can get a free flu shot from:
- your doctor or nurse practitioner
- participating pharmacies
Children six moths to four years old can get their flu shot from a doctor, nurse practitioner or local public health unit. Children under five years old cannot get a flu shot at a pharmacy.
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When Should You Get Your Flu Shot
Its generally recommended that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, according to the CDC. This is especially important because of the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The flu season can last until March or April, so you can still get the flu vaccine later. No matter when you get your flu shot, it will still be valuable to help protect you for the rest of the flu season. Talk to your provider about the best time to get your flu shot. Remember to ask about other vaccines you might need to protect yourself this year too.
What Vaccines Protect Against Flu
For the 2020-2021 flu season, CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older.
- Flu shots can be given to your child 6 months and older.
- The nasal spray vaccine can be given to people 2 through 49 years of age. However, certain people with underlying medical conditions should not get the nasal spray vaccine.
Your childs doctor will know which vaccines are right for your child.
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What Is The High
This year’s high-dose flu shot is called the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, and it’s the only licensed high-dose inactivated flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . This vaccine has four components to help boost your immunity to the flu.
For adults 65 and older, the high-dose flu vaccine is recommended. “This type of vaccine contains a lot more viral protein, which is used to stimulate immunity, than the regular flu vaccine,”infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Maryland, tells Health. Basically, the high-dose flu shot works in the same way as the regular flu shotdelivering inactivated virus to prompt the body to make antibodies. But it’s associated with a stronger immune response.
Why should seniors get the high-dose vaccine? Because older adults are at a higher risk of flu complications. CDC studies estimate that this age group accounts for 70% to 85% of flu-related deaths and 50% to 70% of flu-related hospitalizations each flu season.
Im Pregnant Is It Safe To Get The Flu Shot
Yes, the flu shot is safe. Those who are pregnant should be immunized. Infants born during flu season to mothers who got a flu shot are usually protected against the flu for a few months. The flu shot is also safe and highly recommended for those breastfeeding. Since infants less than 6 months of age cannot get the flu shot , antibodies against the flu are transferred through breast milk.
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Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
Free Flu Shots Through Clinics Community Organizations And Public Health Departments
Many health departments and free clinics offer low-cost or free flu shots across the U.S. Here are a few examples:
Most colleges offer free flu shots for their students. Check on your schools website to confirm.
Military veterans enrolled in health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can get a flu shot at their nearest VA health care facility. This program does not apply to family members of veterans.
Many county health departments offer free, or discounted, flu vaccinations during flu season. Examples include:
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in partnership with select LA County Libraries, will offer free flu shots through November.
The Houston Health Department offers flu shots to uninsured and underinsured people on a sliding scale that ranges from free to $15.
Cant find a location near you on this list? Watch for announcements on your local news station or in your local newspaper or search online for free flu shots in your area or through your citys health department.
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Seasonal Flu And Covid
COVID-19 and the flu will likely both be spreading this season, according to the CDC. Protecting yourself from the flu with a flu shot helps reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalization.3 Thats important this year because there continue to be concerns about hospital capacity with the ongoing spread of COVID-19. It may be hard to know if you have COVID-19 or if it may be the flu or a cold, since symptoms are similar. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine will give you the best protection. You can even get them at the same time.3 Ask your doctor if you have more questions about how these vaccines can help protect you.
- Those with specific health conditions
Where Can I Learn More
More information on the inactivated influenza vaccine, including possible reactions and who should not get the vaccine, can be found in the HealthLinkBC File: Inactivated Influenza Vaccine.
For answers to frequently asked questions about influenza vaccines, visit our FAQ about influenza vaccines page.
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What Other Side Effects Can You Get From The Flu Shot
Other side effects of the flu shot include:
- Redness at the injection site
- Muscle aches
You may think these sound like the symptoms of the flubut again, theyre not. These are all symptoms of receiving the vaccine, per the CDC.
Both inactivated and attenuated shots cause the same set of side effects year after year, Dr. Whyte says. Symptoms will generally occur within a few hours after your vaccination, and at the very latest one to two days post-vaccine, Dr. Whyte explains.
It would be very unusual to have symptoms after one to two days, but there are some instances where reactions could occur two weeks later, Dr. Whyte says. If you have any of these symptoms multiple weeks after getting jabbed, you may want to consult your doctor.
People At High Risk Of Complications From The Flu
- people with health conditions, such as:
- cancer and other immune compromising conditions
- kidney disease
- neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
- children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid
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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.
Can I Have Flu And Covid
Yes. It is possible to have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be.
Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.
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What Happens If You Get Two Flu Shots
Unfortunately, getting two flu shots wont somehow provide you with double protection against the flu vaccines dont work like that. Thats why the CDC recommends that most people get a single dose of the vaccine each season.
According to The New York Times, getting a booster dose of the flu shot is associated with an increased risk of adverse reactions, including fever, rash, shortness of breath, and pain at the injection site. Those possible reactions may seem very mild , but if getting two doses of the same vaccine doesnt double your immunity and even slightly increases the risk of adverse reactions, it makes sense to skip the second shot.
Its also a good idea to limit handshakes and other forms of physical contact during flu season.
What Is The Nasal Flu Vaccine
This type of flu vaccine is given as a nose spray instead of injection. Healthy children over the age of 2 can get the nasal flu vaccine. If your child has a chronic condition or illness, you should speak to your doctor to find out if the nasal flu vaccine is appropriate. The vaccine is given in 1 or 2 doses. Each dose is one squirt into each nostril.
- If your child is under 9 years of age and has received any flu vaccine before, they will only need 1 dose.
- If your child is under 9 years of age and hasnt received a flu vaccine before, they will need 2 doses, given at least 4 weeks apart.
This type of flu vaccine is not covered by all provincial or territorial health plans, which means you may have to pay for it.
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How Is Flu Treated
Other ways to treat flu symptoms in older adults include:
- Get lots of rest.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Ask the doctor or pharmacist before you take a new over-the-counter cold or flu medicine. He can make sure it won’t interfere with prescription drugs or complicate your other medical conditions.
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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The Flu Shot Is Safe And Effective
The longstanding vaccine safety system in the US ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. As new information and science become available, the system is updated and improved. Flu shots are also effective at reducing the risk of flu illness.
- Who: Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot, with rare exceptions. Learn more about who should and shouldn’t get the flu shot.
- What: Seasonal flu shots protect against influenza viruses research indicates will be most common in the upcoming season. After getting the flu shot, antibodies develop in the body about two weeks later that provide protection against infection.
Does The Vaccine For One Virus Protect Against The Other Virus
COVID-19 and influenza are two very different respiratory viruses. The vaccine against COVID will not protect against influenza. The vaccine against influenza will not protect against COVID. We really are recommending that you be vaccinated against both viruses to protect you, your family, and your community.
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What Are The Benefits Of Flu Vaccination
There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.
Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working-age adults, and older adults.
Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Flu vaccination also has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.
Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
Flu vaccines can be lifesaving in children.
Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
The study finding links to support these findings can be found here:
What If The High
Manufacturers have increased flu shot production to meet the high demand for the 2020-2021 season. According to the CDC, between 188 million and 200 million doses will be distributed. All vaccines will be quadrivalent , most will be thimerosal-free or thimerosal-reduced vaccines and about 18% of flu vaccines will be free of eggs.
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