Flu Vaccine For People With Long
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:
- a learning disability
- problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
Talk to your doctor if you have a long-term condition that is not in one of these groups. They should offer you the flu vaccine if they think you’re at risk of serious problems if you get flu.
You Are In One Of The Listed Groups When Can You Get Your Flu Vaccine
Flu vaccine is delivered to GP practices, pharmacies and other services in batches in the run up to and over the flu season.
Clinic appointments are scheduled around these staggered deliveries which means that not everyone can get vaccinated straight away and sometimes appointments need to be rearranged if delivery schedules of vaccine change.
Overall there is enough flu vaccine for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. If you havent been able to get your vaccination yet, you will still be able to have it before flu starts to circulate.
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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When Should You Get The Influenza Vaccine
Annual immunisation is recommended as the influenza virus is constantly changing, and the vaccine changes accordingly.
Getting vaccinated in autumn is recommended. This provides protection in time for the peak influenza season . However, it is never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate in the community all year round.
Influenza vaccines can be co-administered with a COVID-19 vaccine.
Does Anytime In The Fall Work
While its recommended to get it as soon as the vaccine is available, its beneficial to get a flu shot later in the fall than not at all. The flus peak season is from December to February, although its also common to get it anytime between October and May.
Getting it earlier rather than later is therefore advantageous, especially if youre a young, healthy person.
If you are over 65, it may be beneficial not to get the vaccine too early, however. Some experts say that , as there is waning immunity associated with it, which means its effectiveness starts to wear off. This is up for debate, however, as some experts believe it keeps you covered for years and others say its good for 6-8 months.
The fact remains: Its better to get the vaccine early or late in the season than to not get it at all.
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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.
Who Should Not Get The Flu Shot
Very few children should NOT get a flu shot:
- Babies under 6 months of age. Although the vaccine is not harmful to babies less than 6 months old, it does not work.
- If your child has a serious allergy to thimerosal , a thimerosal-free vaccine should be given.
The influenza vaccine is safe for individuals with an egg allergy.
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Do Flu Shots For Babies And Toddlers Contain Mercury
Ask for a shot from a single-dose, mercury-free vial. Multi-dose vials contain a mercury-based preservative to kill bacteria introduced by repeated needle penetrations into the vial. With a single dose vial, mercury isnt necessary.
Pregnant women should also receive the flu shot . The shot does not contain live viruses, so its safe for the fetus inside.
It can be hard watching your little one get pricked by a needle. Once your child is over 2 years old, you can choose to give the vaccine as an injection or as a nasal spray.
How You Catch Flu
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.
You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you should wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.
But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.
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Flu Vaccination For Children
Pharmacies dont provide vaccines to anyone under 18 years old.
If your child was 2 or 3 years old on the 31 August 2021, contact their GP surgery to arrange an appointment.
Children with underlying health conditions can also get the vaccine from their GP surgery .
If your child is in one of the eligible school-aged groups , they will receive an invitation to have it at school alongside everyone else in their class. But you can ask for your child to have it at their GP surgery if they have an underlying health condition and this is what you prefer.
When Should I Get A Flu Shot
Availability each year depends on when the vaccinations are complete, but flu shots for the 2017-2018 season became available in August and will continue to be shipped out through November until all vaccines are distributed, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Its recommended that you get a flu shot as soon as the vaccination becomes available in your area to start reaping the benefits as early as possible. The vaccine usually becomes effective about two weeks after you get your shot.
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What Are The Signs Of The Flu
In most people, the flu causes a fever, body aches, and other cold-like symptoms. A person who has the flu will sleep a lot and feel sick, but will get better in a week.
But the flu, also called influenza , can make some people really sick. They may even need to go to the hospital. That’s why a flu vaccine is recommended for just about everyone.
Why Does My Child Need A Flu Shot
Influenza can be much worse than a bad cold. Some babies and children who have influenza get so sick they cant go to childcare or preschool for two weeks or more. Every year in Australia, hundreds of children get so unwell from influenza they need to be treated in hospital. Most of them are babies and children under five years.
An influenza vaccine is the best way to protect your child from serious influenza. Influenza vaccines give better protection in some years than others. This is because the types of influenza viruses making people sick from year to year can change, and the vaccines may have to be updated.
Before the influenza season, experts gather information from around the world to work out which influenza viruses are most likely to circulate. They often get it right, but sometimes it can be hard to predict. Experts use the best information available at the time.
Influenza vaccines give your child good protection, even if they arent always perfect. By getting an influenza vaccine, your child will be less likely to get influenza, and less likely to get the serious conditions that influenza can cause, like severe lung infections or swelling in the brain .
Its safe for children with egg allergies to get influenza vaccines.3 This is because the amount of egg in influenza vaccines is tiny . Many years ago, influenza vaccines used to contain more egg protein, but the way the vaccines are manufactured is much better now.
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Flu Isnt Just A Heavy Cold
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why its sometimes called seasonal flu. Its a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly.
Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold.
The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover within 2 to 7 days but, for some, the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.
How Does The Flu Shot Protect You
The flu shot prompts your immune system to produce antibodies against a specific strain of the flu. If youre exposed to this particular flu virus later, youll already have antibodies ready to fight off the virus.
It usually takes about 2 weeks to build up your immunity to a flu virus after youve been vaccinated against it.
Youll have the most antibodies 1 to 2 months later. After this time, your protection begins to decline. Thats why you need a flu shot every year.
Each years vaccine is based on which strains are most likely to spread during that flu season.
The vaccine wont protect you from every strain. But if you do get sick, itll likely be less severe due to the vaccine.
The 2020-21 flu season may be complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The overlap of these two viral illnesses threatens to overburden hospitals, which typically get an influx of patients who have complications from the seasonal flu.
Getting your flu shot can help lower your risk of flu complications that could put you in the hospital.
Most people have little to no reaction following the vaccine. Theres no live virus in the flu shot, so it cant give you the flu.
Some people have a temporary reaction at the injection site, such as:
Normally, you can get a flu vaccine at your doctors office, your local pharmacy, or even at a walk-in retail clinic.
Some employers even provide flu shots for their employees at their workplace.
- Contact your
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What Happens If I Dont Vaccinate My Children
Vaccinating young children protects the wider community by reducing the number of people with the virus. It also helps protect the people who are more vulnerable like very young children, older people and people with certain medical conditions.
If your child is not immunised, then they are at a higher risk of serious infectious diseases and possible consequences, such as disability or even death.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Influenza Immunisation
You may experience minor side effects following vaccination. Most reactions are mild and last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.
Common side effects of influenza vaccines include:
- pain, redness, swelling or hardness where the needle went in
- fever, tiredness, body aches.
Talk to your immunisation provider about possible side effects of the influenza vaccines, or if you or your child have side effects that worry you.
The Consumer Medicine Information available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website lists the ingredients and side effects of each vaccine.
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The Flu Is Especially Hard On Vulnerable Populations
Kids younger than 5 years old are vulnerable because their immune systems are still immature. And, seniors over 65 often have frail immunity, too…which can push them into serious secondary illnesses. In fact, seniors are two to three times more likely to suffer a heart attack in the month after the flu. Influenza killed 80,000 people in the US in 2017, including 180 childrenand 20,000 kids were hospitalized.
Side Effects Of The Flu Shot
Common side effects of the flu shot include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, as well as mild flu-like symptoms such as low-grade fever, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. These effects usually go away in 24 to 36 hours, says Dr. Johnson. The nasal spray vaccine has different side effects of runny or stuffy nose and cough.
Its important to remember that experiencing symptoms doesnt mean the vaccine made you sick. Thats just your immune system getting activated to fight the real virus, says Dr. Kimbrough.
As with any vaccine, contact a healthcare provider if you develop a high fever, behavior changes or severe allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, dizziness and a fast heartbeat. Life-threatening reactions to the flu shot are rare and would appear within a few minutes or hours after receiving the vaccine, according to the CDC.
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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 .
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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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.
Who Should Get Immunised Against Influenza
Yearly influenza vaccination is recommended for people aged 6 months and over. Anyone who wants to protect themselves against influenza can talk to their immunisation provider about getting immunised.
The following people are more at risk of complications from influenza and are eligible for annual influenza vaccination free under the National Immunisation Program:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- Children aged 6 months to under 5 years
- People aged 6 months or over who have medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of getting serious disease
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- People aged 65 years or over.
All other individuals not included in the categories above can purchase the vaccine from their immunisation provider.
In some states and territories, influenza vaccines may also be provided for free to other people not listed above. Speak to your immunisation provider or contact your state or territory Department of Health to find out.
As the influenza vaccine only contains minute traces of egg protein, people with egg allergy, including a history of anaphylaxis, can be safely vaccinated with influenza vaccines. If you have an egg allergy please discuss this with your immunisation provider.
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Who Shouldnt Get Vaccinated
If youre currently feeling sick, its best to wait until youre better.
Avoid the flu shot if you have a severe allergy to any of the ingredients that may be used in the vaccine, such as:
- egg protein
- monosodium glutamate , a stabilizer that keeps vaccines from losing their potency
- antibiotics, such as neomycin and gentamicin
- polysorbate 80, an emulsifier which keeps the ingredients from separating
- formaldehyde, which inactivates the flu virus
Babies under 6 months old shouldnt be vaccinated.
If youve had Guillain-Barré syndrome, talk to your doctor before getting the flu vaccine.
The nasal spray contains a weakened live virus. It shouldnt be taken by people who:
- are younger than 2 or older than 50 years
- are 2 to 4 years old and have asthma
- are 2 to 17 years old and take medications containing aspirin or salicylate
- are pregnant
- have life threatening allergies to the flu vaccine
- have a suppressed immune system
- are in close contact with someone with a suppressed immune system
- have taken antiviral drugs for the flu within the previous 48 hours
Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of the nasal spray vaccine if you have:
- asthma or chronic lung disease
- a blood disorder