How Are Benefits Of Vaccination Measured
Public health researchers measure how well flu vaccines work through different kinds of studies. In randomized studies, flu vaccination is randomly assigned, and the number of people who get flu in the vaccinated group is compared to the number who get flu in the unvaccinated or placebo group. Randomized studies are the gold standard for determining how well a vaccine works. The effects of vaccination measured in these studies is called vaccine efficacy. Randomized, placebo-controlled studies are expensive and are not conducted after a recommendation for vaccination has been issued, as withholding vaccine from people recommended for vaccination would place them at risk for infection, illness and possibly serious complications. For that reason, most U.S. studies of vaccine benefits conducted after a vaccine is licensed and recommended are observational studies. Observational studies look at a group of people in a real world setting and compare the occurrence of flu illness in vaccinated people to unvaccinated people. This means that vaccination of study subjects is not randomized. The measurement of vaccine effects in an observational study is referred to as vaccine effectiveness.
Why Should You Get The Flu Shot
Even though the flu shot isn’t the most effective vaccine, it still provides some protection against infection, especially for healthy people. And most importantly, even at its modest effectiveness, the flu vaccine helps to protect against the worst effects of a flu infection: hospitalization or death.
A 2021 review published in the journal Vaccine found that adults who got a flu vaccine but still got sick were 26% less likely to require intensive care, and vaccinated patients who ended up in the hospital were 31% less likely to die from the flu, compared with people who were not vaccinated.
The CDC also recommends that people get the flu shot during pregnancy, which changes the immune system, heart and lungs in ways that increase susceptibility to influenza. Between 2010 and 2016, getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant person’s risk of being hospitalized with flu by about 40% compared with unvaccinated pregnant people, according to a 2018 study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Other studies cited by the CDC suggest that getting a flu shot during pregnancy can also protect the newborn from catching the flu. Flu vaccines are also important for children. Between 2010 and 2014, flu shots reduced a healthy child’s risk of dying from the flu by 65%, according to a 2017 study in the journal Pediatrics.
Originally published on Live Science.
What Steps Are Taken To Help Make Sure The Covid
Safety is always a top priority as federal agencies work with vaccine manufacturers and independent scientific organizations to develop, study, authorize and approve new vaccines. Here are some of the steps taken for COVID-19 vaccines, as well as other vaccines:
Demographics of the COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
Read Also: What Medication Should You Take For The Flu
You’re Allergic To Eggs
Most flu shots are manufactured using egg-based technology. Therefore, the vaccine itself may contain a small amount of egg protein called ovalbumin. If you have a severe allergy to eggs or egg-based products, there’s a small chance that the flu shot may cause an allergic reaction. If the allergic reaction you usually have to eggs is simply hives, the CDC recommends that you have your flu shot nonetheless and seek treatment if needed.
If your allergic reaction to eggs is usually more severe, such as anaphylaxis, the CDC concludes that you can still get your flu shot, but it should be administered, “in an inpatient or outpatient medical setting , under the supervision of a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.” While anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition, a recent CDC study found that only 1.31 per one million vaccine doses administered resulted in anaphylaxis.
Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have An Egg Allergy
The influenza vaccine is typically grown in eggs. But the traces of egg protein that remain after the vaccine is made are so tiny that the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy says both adults and children with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated against the flu. The risk of anaphylaxis after vaccination is very low, estimated at 1.35 cases per 1 million doses.
It is rare for people with egg allergy to experience other side effects, such as hives, wheezing, vomiting or abdominal pain, after getting the flu shot. If you are concerned, ask your doctor if you, or your child, can be observed by staff for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine .
Why Is Flu Vaccine Typically Less Effective Against Influenza A Viruses
There are a number of reasons why flu vaccine effectiveness against influenza A viruses may be lower.
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.”
How The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Is Given
The vaccine is given as a spray squirted up each nostril. It’s quick and painless.
The vaccine will still work even if your child gets a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose.
Your child will be given 2 doses if they’re under 9 years old and have both:
- a long-term health condition that means they’re more at risk from flu
- never had a flu vaccine before
These doses are given 4 weeks apart.
Which Children Need Flu Vaccination
All children from 6 months of age can benefit from flu vaccination. By vaccinating your child, especially if they go to an early learning centre or daycare, you can protect them and your family/whnau. Flu vaccination is especially important for children with certain long-term health conditions. This is because these children are most likely to develop complications from the flu, such as chest infections. If your child does have a long-term condition, make sure they have their flu vaccination every year before winter starts.
Can A Flu Shot Make You Get Sick
It isnt out of the ordinary to react to the flu shot, as its simply a sign that your immune system getting to work protecting you. Common responses include a sore arm, headache, nausea, muscle aches or a mild fever. The vaccine itself is adapted every year, Dr. Ford says. So its very hard to predict, from one year to the next, if youre going to have a mild reaction, no reaction or a more problematic reaction.
However, if you do get sick after getting a flu shot, its not because of the vaccine. The only direct reactions to the shot are going to happen within the first 24 to 48 hours, Dr. Ford affirms. As mentioned before, if you get sick after that, people might think its related to getting the flu shot. But its just a coincidence.
Protection Against Common Flu Strains
Each year the flu vaccine protects against the three most common strains of flu. You are more at risk from flu complications if you fall into any of the categories listed above. In the worst cases, flu can result in a stay in hospital or even death.
You should get the vaccine even if you got it last year and you feel fit and healthy now.
Vaccinations In The Us Military
On August 9, 2021, all servicemembers received a memo explaining that, under a plan endorsed by President Biden and by military leadership, COVID-19 vaccination would become mandatory within about a month. About a third of active U.S. military service members had already been vaccinated as of late April and about two-thirds had already been vaccinated by the time the memo was sent.
The U.S. Navy had been the fastest to begin vaccination in early 2021. As of April 22, 2021, considering active military personnel who had received at least one dose, the U.S. Navy had the highest percentage at 51%, the at 36%, the Air Force/Space Force at 34%, and the Army at 27%. By late May, at least 58% of active military personnel had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of April 9, 2021, 39% of U.S. Marines to whom the military offered the vaccine had refused it. The highest rate of refusal was at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where 57% of Marines had refused the vaccine.
On August 23, 2021, the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine got its full FDA approval, prompting vaccinations to be required for all active duty, reserve, and National Guard troops starting August 25. By the time the vaccination requirement order was sent out, only 68% of active-duty troops were fully vaccinated.
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?
Why Is The Flu More Dangerous For Older Adults
The flu is more dangerous for older adults for a few reasons. One reason is that the immune system which helps your body fight infections weakens as you age. For example, because your body is busy fighting off the flu, you might pick up a second infection such as pneumonia. A second reason is that older adults are also more likely to have other health conditions, like diabetes, that increase their risk for complications from the flu.
The good news is the flu vaccination reduces your risk of getting the flu and of getting seriously ill if you do get sick with the flu. Flu vaccination is especially helpful for people with chronic health conditions. For example, it has been linked to lower rates of heart problems among people with heart disease and fewer hospitalizations among people who have chronic lung disease or diabetes. Learn more about the benefits of flu vaccination.
Getting A Flu Shot Every Year More May Not Be Better
If youve been diligent about getting your flu shot every year, you may not want to read this. But a growing body of evidence indicates that more may not always be better.
The evidence, which is confounding some researchers, suggests that getting flu shots repeatedly can gradually reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines under some circumstances.
That finding is worrying public health officials in the US, who have been urging everyone to get a flu shot each year and who still believe an annual vaccination is better than skipping the vaccines altogether.
Dr. Edward Belongia is among the scientists who have seen the picture coming into focus. He and some colleagues at Wisconsins reported recently that children who had been vaccinated annually over a number of years were more likely to contract the flu than kids who were only vaccinated in the season in which they were studied.
The vaccine was significantly more effective if they had not been vaccinated in the previous five years, Belongia, an epidemiologist, recounted in a recent interview with STAT.
Vaccines work by exposing the immune system to a part of a disease agent in the case of influenza, to two proteins on the exterior of the viruses that has been rendered harmless. The vaccines tell the immune system to be ready to mount an offensive if it encounters the specified invaders.
The immune system then produces stores of protective ammunition antibodies it can use to fight off infection.
Myth #: You Dont Need A Flu Shot Every Year
Sometimes patients get the flu shot in February then come into my office in September and say they dont need another vaccine because they got it in February, Lopez says. I tell them this is a different flu season, so they need it again.
In these cases, people are assuming that their bodies will still have enough immune protection to carry them through another flu season unscathed. However, even when the influenza strains targeted by a new vaccine are the same as those included in the previous seasons shot, immune protection declines over time. Whatever defense you have leftover from last flu season may not be enough to stop you from getting sick this go-around.
When we look at individuals who get the flu shot every year versus those who skip years, there is proof that it is beneficial to get vaccinated every single year, Lopez says.
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.
Can Flu Vaccination Make My Child Sick
Most people have no reaction to flu vaccination. Anyone can have flu vaccination except people who have had a previous severe allergic reaction to flu vaccination in the past. Your child may have one or more of the following responses after the vaccination:
- soreness, redness or swelling where the vaccine was given
These are usually mild and only last 1 or 2 days.
How Does The Flu Spread
The flu is contagious, which means it spreads from person to person. It mostly spreads through droplets in the air when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. It can spread from up to six feet away. Although it isnt as common, the flu can also spread from surfaces, for example, if you touch something the virus is on and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.
It’s possible to spread the flu before you feel sick and when you have symptoms. Typically, people with the flu can spread it a day before, and up to a week after feeling sick. Young children and people with weakened immune systems may be able to spread the flu for even longer. If you or someone you know is sick with the flu, take steps to help prevent spreading the disease.