Who Can Have The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
- are 50 and over
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- frontline health or social care workers
How To Administer A Flu Shot
This article was medically reviewed by Shari Forschen, NP, MA. Shari Forschen is a Registered Nurse at Sanford Health in North Dakota. She received her Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s from the University of North Dakota and has been a nurse since 2003.There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 364,379 times.
Experts say that an annual flu shot is your best bet for preventing the flu, but it’s not 100% effective.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source Typically, the annual flu shot will protect you against 3 or 4 strains of the virus that are expected to be prevalent that flu season. Research suggests that flu shots are usually given in the upper arm, and you may get a specific type recommended for your age group.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source Fortunately, flu shots are fairly easy to administer.
Signs Of A More Serious Reaction
“A very small percentage of people can have a true allergic reaction to the vaccine, including chest tightness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, facial or throat swelling and redness of the eyes,” Teague says. If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Teague says severe allergic reactions usually happen within a few hours of getting the flu shot.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction, according to the CDC, can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling around the eyes or lips
- A fast heartbeat or dizziness
Another possible reaction is an infection where the shot was administered. “Patients can also develop an infection at the injection site, which is manifested as worsening redness, swelling, warmth and tenderness,” Teague says. You should also seek immediate medical attention for this type of reaction.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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Children Less Than 6 Months Old
It is not recommended to vaccinate children aged less than 6 months. Indeed, the effectiveness of the vaccine has yet to be proven for children that age. The vaccine is therefore not offered to them.
However, children under 6 months of age can also catch the flu. Furthermore, they are among those who are more at risk of being hospitalized after the flu. Therefore, vaccination is recommended for members of the same household and informal caregivers of children under 6 months of age to avoid passing on the flu to them.
If you are a member of the same household or the informal caregivers of a child under 6 months of age, you can get vaccinated free of charge under the Flu Vaccination Program.
What Is The Best Way To Locate A Flu Vaccine Clinic
People can obtain flu shots through a health care professional’s office, at community health departments, and at many pharmacies. Additionally, many employers and schools host flu shot clinics. Some employers may offer the vaccine free of charge. A health care professional’s office should be able to provide information about flu shot clinics available in the community.
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Who Should Receive The Flu Vaccine
The CDC recommends that every individual over 6 months of age receive the seasonal flu vaccine. While everyone should get a vaccination, it is particularly important for some groups. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications if they get the flu, such as those with asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease as well as pregnant women and those over 65 years of age. It is also important for caregivers to get vaccinations, in addition to those who live with people in these risk groups.
Common Flu Shot Side Effects
Repeat: The flu vaccine won’t give you the flu, but you can experience mild symptoms because of how the vaccine works.
“The flu vaccine is designed to stimulate your immune system to build antibodies to the virus. That stimulation can cause a low-grade fever, a decrease in appetite, loose stool, mild fatigue or myalgia and even a scant cough,” Teague says.
According to Teague, these symptoms usually resolve after a few days and are no cause for alarm. You may also experience some redness, swelling or soreness where the shot was injected, which is also normal.
The CDC says you can experience “flulike” symptoms after getting the vaccine, such as:
- Soreness, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site
- Muscle aches
The symptoms listed above should resolve in a few days. Also, keep in mind not everyone has symptoms, but those are the most common. When it comes to other symptoms, or symptoms that last longer, it’s important to keep in mind that you can still catch a cold, or other virus, right after you get the flu shot.
So if you experience other symptoms that seem like the flu, it could be another illness and it doesn’t mean the shot made you sick. The flu shot also takes about two weeks to become effective at protecting you from the flu, so you could technically catch the flu within that two-week window.
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How Do I Choose The Best Place For An Intramuscular Injection
- Keep track of where the injections are given: Make a list of the sites you use. Write down the date, time, and the site each time you give an injection.
- Change sites for the injections: It is important to use a different site each time you give an injection. This helps prevent scars and skin changes. The sites where injections are given should be at least 1 inch away from each other. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to inject the medicine in a certain site.
Children Less Than 9 Years Old
Children less than 9 years old getting the flu vaccine for the first time must receive 2 doses of vaccine. The second dose must be given a month after the first. Parents must therefore plan 2 appointments to get their child a flu vaccination.
Indeed, as most vaccines given in childhood, the first injection of the flu vaccine must be followed by a booster dose. The first dose of the vaccine allows the childs immune system to, in a way, get acquainted with the virus and to fight it, but for only a few weeks. The second dose allows the childs immune system to produce more antibodies to fight the virus on a longer term.
It is therefore important that children less than 9 years old getting the flu vaccine for the first time receive the 2 doses of vaccine. The second dose will allow them to be best protected during the entire flu season.
Only children less than 9 years old who have already received the flu vaccine need to receive a single dose of it.
Children from 6 to 23 months old and those who have certain chronic diseases can get vaccinated free of charge under the Flu Vaccination Program.
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When Is The Best Time To Get Vaccinated
The best time to get vaccinated is whenever you can though October seems to be a pretty good sweet spot for staying protected through the end of flu season, earlier is totally OK, too, said Temple-Wood.
Definitely dont wait if you have the opportunity! she said. Theres no such thing as too late, either. If youre being offered the flu shot, its because theres still flu hanging around.
Where Should I Go To Get A Flu Shot
Roper said you can get a flu shot at your doctors office, public health clinics, many pharmacies, and even some grocery stores.
She recommends that everyone has a primary care physician for things like vaccines and common illnesses.
If you have a physician, you can get help when you need it. If you dont have a physician, it can be really difficult to find an appointment when you need one. Just go make an appointment with a physician for a check-up and flu shot so you will have an existing relationship with one where they have your info on file. It could save your life, said Roper.
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What Is The Flu Vaccine
The influenza vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by the influenza virus. The flu can cause serious illness, especially in young children, older adults and people with chronic health problems, but anyone can become seriously ill from the flu virus. Even if you are not feeling sick, you could still be infected with the flu virus and pass it on to others. Read more about the flu.Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection and reduce the seriousness of illness if you become infected. It will greatly improve your chances of not getting the flu, but it does not give 100% protection.
Being vaccinated causes your body to produce antibodies against the flu virus. This means your body can respond faster and more effectively to the flu. By first coming across a non-infectious version of the virus in the vaccine, it learns to recognise it. When it comes across it again, your body can react much faster and in a more effective way.
Even if you get the flu after being vaccinated, you usually get a mild form of it and recover faster, and are less likely to have serious complications.
What Is The Appropriate Schedule For Children
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for persons 6 months of age and older. Some children will need 2 doses of influenza vaccine in the same season. The following children will require 2 doses of influenza vaccine, administered at least 4 weeks apart, for the 20202021 season:
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have never received seasonal influenza vaccine or for whom vaccination history is unknown
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have not received at least 2 doses* of seasonal influenza vaccine before July 1, 2020
The following children will require 1 dose of influenza vaccine for the 20202021 season:
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have received at least 2 doses* of seasonal influenza vaccine before July 1, 2020
- Children 9 years of age and older
*Doses do not need to have been received during the same or consecutive influenza seasons.
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How Is The Flu Vaccine Made
Flu experts at more than 100 influenza centers around the world keep track of the different flu variations, or strains, and go through an intensive research process to identify which strains may be the most common in a given season.
This research process helps create a flu vaccine thats specific to the common flu strains expected that winter.
However, flu viruses vary every year, and this means some flu seasons are worse, and some years the flu vaccine may be less effective.
The Flu Vaccine Injection
The nasal flu vaccine contains a highly processed form of gelatine derived from pigs . It is offered because it is more effective than an injected vaccine in children. For those who may not accept the use of porcine gelatine in medicinal products, an alternative injectable vaccine is available this year. Please indicate on the consent form if you wish your child to receive the injectable vaccine due to the porcine gelatine content of the nasal flu vaccine.
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If An Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Approved For Adult Use Is Inadvertently Administered To A Child Is This Considered A Valid Dose
If an inactivated influenza formulation approved for adults is inadvertently administered to a child, this should be counted as a single valid dose for the child. However, this is considered a vaccine administration error. Healthcare personnel should take steps to determine how the error occurred and put strategies in place to prevent it from happening in the future. In addition, we encourage providers to report all vaccine administration errorseven those not associated with an adverse eventto the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System external icon. A discussion of strategies to prevent errors can be found in the Vaccine Administration chapter of Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases . Additional resources can be found on CDCs vaccine administration web page.
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.
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To 2022 Flu Vaccination Programme
With the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about co-circulation of flu and coronavirus, it is extremely important that this years flu vaccination programme is safely and effectively delivered to as many of those eligible as possible in order to protect those at risk. It is therefore crucial that those giving flu vaccine are confident, competent and have up to date knowledge about the vaccines they are giving.
As with last year, there will be an expanded flu vaccination programme this year. Alongside the usual eligible groups, all 50 to 64 year olds will be offered flu vaccination, and, in addition, the programme is being expanded into secondary schools up to Year 11 for the first time. In order to deliver this programme and maximise uptake, a large flu vaccinator workforce will be required, meaning that there may be more new vaccinators this season who have not previously undertaken any flu immunisation training.
Public Health England has therefore examined the National Minimum Standards for Immunisation Training and consulted with experienced trainers. This document sets out recommendations for flu immunisation training for the 2021 to 2022 flu season. It describes what flu immunisers need to know and various ways in which they can obtain training.
Why Is The Flu Vaccine Less Effective Some Years
Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary from season to season, Rivera said. The protection provided depends on the similarity between the viruses in the vaccine and those in circulation, as well as the health of the individual.
She explained that there are different strains or types of flu viruses, and flu vaccines usually work better against influenza A and influenza B. The vaccine may be less effective against influenza A .
During seasons when the vaccine is well-matched , vaccination can reduce the risk of flu illness by up to 60 percent, she said.
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Can Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine Be Given At The Same Time As Other Vaccines
Live, attenuated influenza vaccine may be administered simultaneously with other live or inactivated vaccines. However, if two live, attenuated vaccines are not given during the same clinical visit, they should be separated by at least 4 weeks to minimize the potential risk for interference. For example, if live, attenuated influenza vaccine was given, at least 4 weeks should pass before MMR is administered.
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
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If Im Fit And Healthy Do I Need To Have The Flu Vaccine
Although people with medical conditions, like asthma and diabetes, are most at risk of complications from the flu, healthy adults, children and infants can still become seriously ill and even die from the flu. Also, healthy people can spread the flu to others around them. So it is recommended that even healthy people get the flu vaccine.
Who Should Have The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2020 born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018
- all primary school children
- all year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 in secondary school
- children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and is in a high-risk group for flu, theyll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.
This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years.
Children aged 2 to 17 years may also have the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.
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