Who Should Not Receive A Flu Shot:
Most people should be vaccinated for influenza each year, But some people should not be vaccinated, or should not receive some types of influenza vaccines, depending upon things such as their age, health and whether they have certain allergies.
Information about who cannot get a flu vaccine and who should talk to their doctor before getting a flu vaccine is available at Who Should & Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated.
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
Can The Flu Vaccine Give You The Flu
No. The vaccine given with a needle is made with either inactivated viruses, or with only a single protein from the flu virus.
The flu mist, or the nasal spray, contains live viruses that are weakened and will not cause illness. However, it’s not available for all ages. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved use of the nasal spray for people ages 2-49.
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Do You Need More Than One Dose Of The Flu Vaccine
The CDC recommends two doses for some children ages 6 months to 8 years old.
For those children who are either getting vaccinated for the first time or who have previously received one dose, it’s recommended to get the first dose as soon as the vaccine is available , because the second dose needs to be given at least four weeks later.
Studies in adults have not shown any benefit from getting more than one dose during the flu season, even among the elderly and people who may be immunocompromised.
What Flu Vaccine Should I Get
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 of age and flu shots approved for use in adults 65 years and older. Flu shots also are recommended for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years of age. People with some medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine. Your provider will know which flu vaccine is best for you.
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Whos Most At Risk Of Getting The Flu
Typically, children and older people are most at risk of getting sick with influenza. The best way to protect babies who are too young to be vaccinated is to make sure people around them are vaccinated. Occasionally, a flu virus will circulate that disproportionately affects young and middle-age adults.
You also can reduce the spread of the flu and its effects by taking such practical measures as washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when youre sick.
The FDA has approved numerous vaccines for the prevention of influenza. But if you do get the flu, there are FDA-approved antiviral drugs, available by prescription, to treat your illness. There are several FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by the CDC for use against circulating influenza viruses. These drugs work best if started soon after the onset of symptoms .
What If You Miss The Optimal Window For A Flu Shot
Peak flu season doesn’t occur across the United States at the same time, but Dr. Schaffner says data indicates that February is the most common month for the bulk of peak national influenza transmission. This means you have ample time beyond October for your body to respond to a flu shot, even if flu transmission is picking up in your area. And federal experts still push you to get vaccinated against the flu even in the new year.
“If you miss getting your vaccine in the fall, you can still get vaccinated in January or even later,” Dr. Walkensky adds. “As long as flu viruses are circulating in your community, we continue to recommend a flu vaccine as the best way to protect yourself and your family from flu and its potentially serious complications.”
Most crucially, whether you decide to get the flu shot alongside your COVID-19 vaccine or separately, you shouldn’t delay receiving one over the other even if it’s November or beyond. Remember, current guidance from federal health officials suggests that individuals will need to wait for a third COVID-19 vaccine until about 8 months after their second dose.
“Some Americans will not be eligible for their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine until later in the fall or winter, after October,” she says. “In these cases, people should go ahead and get their flu shot, and then schedule their COVID-19 vaccine at the proper time.”
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The Flu Vaccine Is Safe
To ensure that the flu vaccine is safe, effective, and of high quality, the FDA prepares and provides reagents to manufacturers that they need to make their vaccine and to verify its identity and potency. The FDA also inspects manufacturing facilities regularly and evaluates each manufacturers vaccine annually before it can be approved.
The FDAs oversight doesnt end there. After manufacturers have distributed their vaccines for use by the public, the FDA and CDC work together to routinely evaluate reports of adverse events following vaccination submitted by vaccine manufacturers, health care providers and vaccine recipients to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System .
Additional efforts are in place to monitor vaccine safety. The FDA partners with private organizations that collect health care data and other federal agencies to further evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccines and other vaccines that the FDA has approved or authorized for emergency use.
The Biologics Effectiveness and Safety Initiative is one of the programs the FDA utilizes to assess vaccine safety and effectiveness in real-world conditions, reflecting patient care and the real-world use of the influenza vaccine and other vaccines in the U.S. In addition, the CDC maintains the Vaccine Safety Datalink program, which evaluates the vaccines safety similar to the BEST Initiative. VSD receives its data from nine integrated health care organizations in the U.S.
Where Can I Get The Flu Vaccine
You can call your doctor, pharmacy, or check out your local health departments website to find a flu vaccinator near you.
Wisconsinites high demand for flu vaccine in some places may mean that some vaccinators run out of vaccine supply before their next shipment arrives. To make sure your vaccinator has vaccine available, please call ahead.
- There may also be more than one location in your area that has vaccine available.
- If you have health insurance, it is best to call your insurance company to ask where you can get your flu vaccine and verify any costs.
- Children who aren’t covered under health insurance can get free vaccines through the Vaccines for Children Program . Find a VFC provider in your city and call ahead to make a flu vaccine appointment for your child.
Across our state, Wisconsin communities are working hard to make it easy for you to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.
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Flu Shot Timing: What’s Optimal
Aug. 30, 2021 — Amid fresh national recommendations for COVID booster shots to ramp up waning immunity, new research examining the durability of flu vaccination indicates significantly dwindling protection just months after inoculation.
Maximum influenza vaccine efficacy in adults occurred shortly after vaccination, followed by an average decline of 8% to 9% each month and an even swifter drop among older adults.
Even a 1- or 2-month delay in annual flu vaccination could improve vaccine effectiveness by 10% to 20%, according to the study, published August 15 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Analyzing vaccine timing relative to influenza-associated hospitalizations among more than 5500 adults, the findings are broadly consistent with both early and more recent studies, says study author Jill Ferdinands, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.
“These findings are not surprising,” Ferdinands tells Medscape Medical News. “In the very first successful trial of inactivated influenza vaccine in 1943, the study’s authors observed that antibodies to influenza declined by about one third within 4 to 5 months after vaccination.”
But “a better understanding of waning immunity, like the information gained by this study, could help further optimize the recommendation,” she says.
He says the COVID pandemic might prove to “actually be a shot in the arm for influenza vaccine research.”
For Stem Cell Transplant Patients
The CDC and the American Society for Blood & Marrow Transplantation recommend flu shots for all bone marrow, stem cell and cord blood transplant survivors beginning one year post-transplant and continuing every year thereafter. The flu shot is also recommended for others living or working in the household. Although most transplant centers follow the current CDC guidelines regarding flu shots, some recommend flu shots even earlier than one year after the transplant.
For more information about the flu and special considerations for people who have cancer, visit the CDC’s Cancer and Flu page.
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When Is The Best Time To Get The Flu Shot What You Should Know This Season
The COVID-19 pandemic continues on as we head into the colder months, but there’s also another seasonal illness to remember: the flu.
Flu vaccines and nasal sprays have been available for protection against strains of the virus since the summer, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people should be vaccinated by the end of October for the best protection this season.
Last year, activity for the 2020-21 flu season was unusually low, with the CDC postulating vaccines and COVID-19 mitigation measures, including wearing face masks, staying home, hand washing, school closures, increased ventilation of indoor spaces, reduced travel and physical distancing may have contributed to the decline in illness, hospitalization and deaths from the flu virus.
Additionally, a record number of flu vaccine doses were given in the U.S. during 2020 and 2021 193.8 million doses.
Here’s what you need to know about the flu, and flu vaccines, this season.
I Heard That The Flu Vaccine Was Not Very Effective Why Should I Get It If Its Not Effective
While vaccine effectiveness can vary, studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. It is also the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Remember, if you dont get a vaccine at all, thats 0% effective.
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Can You Prevent The Flu
Yes. The best way to prevent it is to get an annual flu vaccine.Getting the shot is a smart idea. It makes a big difference in hospitalization and death rates among older adults who live at home and those in nursing homes.
A high-dose flu vaccine is made just for seniors. It has four times as much active ingredient as a regular flu shot to provide a better immune response in older people. Itâs recommended for people ages 65 and older, if it’s available.
Keep in mind that the seasonal flu viruses change each year, so older adults need to get a new flu shot each fall.
Also, there are two vaccines to prevent pneumonia. If youâre a healthy adult over age 65, the CDC suggests you get both vaccines. The timing and sequence will vary depending on what vaccine youâve had before.
Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
It can save lives by:
- protecting you, if you’re exposed to the virus
- preventing you from getting very sick
- protecting people close to you:
- because you’re less likely to spread the virus
- who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.
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Can I Get The Flu Once Ive Gotten The Vaccine
Even if you do get the vaccine, it isn’t 100 percent effective, and theres no guarantee itll keep you from getting the flu. Thats because the virus is extraordinarily promiscuous, according to Dr. Poland. Its constantly mutating and changing, meaning that the vaccine you get could be protecting you from four different strains of the flu but if you run across a fifth strain, you could still get sick.
For example, In 2000, we had exactly the right combination of flu strains in the vaccine, Dr. Poland says. “Then, out of nowhere, in November, there was a new strain, and people had no protection.
Still, some protection is better than none at all. With so many different types of influenza virus out there, its best to be protected against as many as possible.
How Long Does The Flu Shot Last
For those extra-responsible citizens who finished their beach vacation and thought, flu season is just around the corner, first of all, bless you. Second, you might have screwed yourself. The flu vaccine is expected to protect an individual for a period of 6 months. After this, dwindling antibody levels cause its potency to wane. Vaccine effectiveness declines 8%-9% each month after getting the flu shot, according to a new study.
Although booster doses do exist, theyre most effective for children ages 6 months to 8-years-old. Nevertheless, it cant hurt to talk to your doctor now about getting a booster.
If you decide to wait until January to get your flu shot, likewise, you may be in for a not-so-fun flu season. Delaying vaccination might permit greater immunity later in the season, the board that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccines acknowledges, but that deferral could result in missed opportunities to vaccinate.
Ive seen far too many disasters in people who think they can time , Greg Poland, MD, director of the Mayo Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota, told Womens Health. People either forget about getting the vaccine or procrastinate it. Then they start seeing their neighbors and coworkers get sick and decide its time. But at that point, it could already be too late.
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Who Should Get A Flu Shot
Yearly flu shots are recommended by the CDC for everyone six months of age and older. Those particularly at risk for influenza complications include young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with a chronic illness. Parents and caregivers of those who are at risk for flu should also receive a flu vaccination.
Young children: Children, especially those six months through four years old, are more vulnerable to flu and its complications. It’s especially important that children with underlying medical problems such as neuro-developmental or other disorders receive flu vaccination, since they can be at much higher risk of medical complications for death.
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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