How Effective Is The Nhs Flu Immunisation Programme
The flu vaccine works better in some years than others . Across all age groups including children, the flu vaccine prevented 15-52% of flu cases between 2015 – 2020 .
Protection from the flu virus varies for different age groups. In children aged 2-17, the flu vaccine prevented 66% of flu cases in 2016-17, 27% of flu cases in 2017-18, and 49% of flu cases in 2018-19. However, in the over 65 age group the inactivated flu vaccine worked less well than it did in other adults and children. In 2016-17, the data suggest that the inactivated flu vaccine did not work at all in people aged over 65, whilst in 2017-2018 it resulted in slightly better results in that age group. Due to the lower effectiveness of the inactivated flu vaccine in older people, a vaccine containing an adjuvant was introduced for the 2018-19 season. This is a substance that strengthens and lengthens the immune response to the vaccine and resulted in better prevention of flu in people aged 65 or over in flu seasons since 2018-19. The adjuvanted vaccine is still recommended for this age group in the 2021-22 season.
It is not understood why flu vaccines do not work so well in older adults. However, this reinforces the importance of vaccinating children and healthcare workers, both of whom can help to stop the spread of flu to older adults.
When Should Adults Be Vaccinated
Flu seasons also vary, depending on where you live. Flu season can run from October to May. You should get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available. It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to start working, so you want to make sure you are fully protected as soon as possible. Generally, the seasonal flu vaccine is available from September until spring.
The Thirties: Virus Isolation And The Firstexperimental Vaccines
During the 1918-1919 pandemic, some scientists began to suspect that bacteria were not the real agent of influenza disease. One of these was the scholar Richard Edwin Shope , who deeply investigated swine flu in 1920. However, it was only in 1932-1933 that the English scientists Wilson Smith , Sir Christopher Andrewes and Sir Patrick Laidlaw , working at the Medical Research Council at Mill Hill, first isolated the influenza A virus from nasal secretions of infected patients, thereby demonstrating the intranasal human transmission of this virus . A few years later, the American virologist and epidemiologist Thomas Francis Junior and Smith, in England, were able to transmit the virus to mice . Subsequently, in 1935, Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet and Smith separately discovered that the flu virus could be grown on the chorio-allantoid membrane of embryonated hens’ eggs , and in 1936 the first neutralized antibodies generated by infection by human influenza virus were isolated .
In the next five years, important developments took place: the demonstration that the virus inactivated by formalin was immunogenic in humans, purification of the virus by means of high-speed centrifugation, and the discovery that the influenza virus grew easily in fertilized hen eggs, a procedure that is still used today to manufacture most influenza vaccines .
The first clinical trials of influenza vaccines were conducted in the mid-1930s .
Read Also: Shoulder Pain After Flu Shot Treatment
Adverse Events After Cell
Cell-based influenza vaccines have a similar safety profile to standard influenza vaccines. In one study among children and adolescents aged 417 years, injection site reactions were reported in 53% of people receiving cell-based vaccine compared with 43% receiving standard influenza vaccine. Systemic reactions were reported by 37% and 30%, respectively.83 Both injection site and systemic reactions were typically mild to moderate < 1% were reported as severe.
In another study in adults aged 1860 years, injection site reactions were reported in 29% of people receiving cell-based vaccine compared with 25% receiving standard influenza vaccine. Systemic reactions were reported by 25% and 23%, respectively.84 Injection site reactions were typically mild to moderate < 1% were reported as severe. No severe systemic reactions were reported.
Influenza Immunization: Myths And Facts
Influenza vaccines are a safe and effective way to help people stay healthy, prevent illness and even save lives. The influenza virus can cause serious illness and even death in people with certain chronic health conditions.
The influenza vaccines available in B.C. are either inactivated or live attenuated vaccines. The inactivated influenza vaccine, or flu shot, is made of killed influenza viruses and is given by injection. The live attenuated influenza vaccine is made from weakened influenza viruses and is given as a nasal spray.
Many people use the term flu to refer to any illness caused by a virus, such as stomach flu or the common cold. However, the influenza virus causes illness that tends to be more severe than these viruses.
You May Like: Safe Flu Medicine While Pregnant
Drugs For Nasal Administration
The sold under the brand names FluMist or Fluenz is delivered intranasally. Flumist is a Quadrivalent Vaccine which contains four vaccine virus strains: an A/H1N1 strain, an A/H3N2 strain and two B strains. FluMist Quadrivalent contains B strains from both the B/Yamagata/14/88 and the B/Victoria/2/87 lineages. It has been approved by the CDC for vaccinating all eligible people between 2 and 49 years of age.
How Do Vaccines Work
To understand how the flu vaccine works, you need to understand how your immune system works first. Your immune system fights disease by remembering every single disease youve ever seen in your life. Seriously. Every one of them. In response, your body makes antibodies that tell your white blood cells which infectionsneed to be destroyed. If it helps, think of antibodies as the blue ink that explodes if somebody tries to steal something now we all know who the thief is.
Your body can crank out antibodies at a moments notice for any disease youve ever come into contact with they tag the offending bacteria or virus and your white blood cells come in and the offender dies a horrible death.
Vaccines work by training your bodys immune system. There are two types of vaccines: inactivated, and live/attenuated. Inactivated vaccines are essentially the protein coat of whatever youre trying to vaccinate against. Think of it as what the bacteria or virus is wearing. Live/attenuated vaccines are viruses or bacteria that have been weakened. The vaccine isnt what the virus is wearing, its just a really weak version of the virus itself.
You May Like: Sanofi High Dose Flu Vaccine
Common Responses To Vaccination
Influenza vaccine is generally well tolerated. Some systemic responses to vaccination may appear influenza-like. However, inactivated vaccines cannot cause the disease.
Common responses associated with the non-adjuvanted influenza vaccines in children and adults include pain, redness and/or swelling at the site of injection. Local responses are almost always mild. Systemic responses such as headache, muscle aches and fatigue may occur in adults.6,7 Fever, irritability and loss of appetite are more likely to occur in children.8,9 These are generally mild and usually resolve after a day or so. Systemic events may appear influenza-like.
Adults aged 65 years or older are more likely to experience local and/or systemic responses to the adjuvanted influenza vaccine FLUAD QUAD than the non-adjuvanted AFLURIA QUAD vaccine10-12 because the adjuvant enhances the persons immune response.11,13
People Who Shouldnt Have The Vaccination
Almost everybody can have the vaccine, but you should not be vaccinated if you have ever had a serious allergy to the vaccine, or any of its ingredients. If you are allergic to eggs or have a condition that weakens your immune system, you may not be able to have certain types of flu vaccine check with your GP. If you have a fever, the vaccination may be delayed until you are better.
Also Check: Does Cvs Give Flu Vaccines
Flu Vaccination Is Likely To Be Free If You Answer ‘yes’ To Any Of These Questions
- Does your child have asthma and regularly use a preventer medicine ?
- Is your child aged 4 years or under and has a significant respiratory illness or been in hospital for a respiratory illness ?
- Does your child have a heart condition ?
- Does your child have cancer?
- Does your child have an ongoing chest condition, such as bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis?
- Does your child have diabetes?
- Does your child have ongoing kidney disease?
- Does your child have HIV or AIDS, an auto-immune disease or another immune deficiency?
Your child will also need to be entitled to publicly funded health services in New Zealand. You can check the Ministry of Health’s Guide to eligibility.
Types Of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
Two types of influenza vaccine are widely available: inactivated influenza vaccines and live attenuated influenza vaccines . Traditionally, influenza vaccines have been produced to protect against 3 different seasonal influenza viruses . In most countries this is still the case and the current trivalent vaccines contain influenza A, pandemic A and 1 of 2 influenza B lineage viruses. However, recently vaccines which protect against 4 different viruses, including both influenza B lineage viruses , have become available in some countries.
Regardless of the type or composition of seasonal influenza vaccine, vaccination should be administered annually to provide optimal protection against infection.
You May Like: What Are The Ingredients In A Flu Vaccine
Iii1 People At High Risk Of Influenza
All pregnant women
NACI recommends the inclusion of all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy, among the particularly recommended recipients of IIV, due to the risk of influenza-associated morbidity in pregnant womenFootnote 25,Footnote 26,Footnote 27,Footnote 28,Footnote 29, evidence of adverse neonatal outcomes associated with maternal respiratory hospitalization or influenza during pregnancyFootnote 30,Footnote 31,Footnote 32,Footnote 33, evidence that vaccination of pregnant women protects their newborns from influenza and influenza-related hospitalizationFootnote 34,Footnote 35,Footnote 36,Footnote 37, and evidence that infants born during influenza season to vaccinated women are less likely to be premature, small for gestational age, and of low birth weight than if born to women that had not received an influenza vaccineFootnote 38,Footnote 39,Footnote 40,Footnote 41. The risk of influenza-related hospitalization increases with length of gestation .
Refer to the Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2011-2012 and the Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2012-2013 for further details on influenza vaccination during pregnancy.
Adults and children with chronic health conditions
Neurologic or neurodevelopment conditions
People of any age who are residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
Adults 65 years of age and older
All children 6-59 months of age
How Do Flu Vaccines Work
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with circulating influenza viruses.
Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. All flu vaccines in the United States are quadrivalent vaccines, which means they protect against four different flu viruses: an influenza A virus, an influenza A virus, and two influenza B viruses.
Read Also: Rite Aid Flu Shot For Seniors
How Does The Flu Shot Work
The flu vaccine is available in several forms, some of which work better for specific populations. For example, most flu shots are given as inactivated vaccines, which contain dead virus. The nasal spray vaccine, though, contains a weakened version of a live flu virus, according to the CDC.
“All current flu vaccines in the United States are ‘quadrivalent’ vaccines, which means they protect against four different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses,” Grusich said. “Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection.”
The four flu strains included in the seasonal flu vaccine are chosen based on those that are circulating in the Southern Hemisphere during their seasonal flu outbreaks, according to the CDC.
The Socially Responsible Thing To Do
Going along with this point, Cherry says its the socially responsible thing to get yourself vaccinated.
2018 was the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu, the greatest killer of all time. Its really sobering to see that there were 80,000 deaths, Cherry said. Many of those deaths are due to secondary bacterial infections that can come once you get the flu.
Taege adds that, in addition to getting the vaccine, people should be mindful of cough etiquette: Cover your mouth when you cough and avoid putting your hands to your face, since your nose and your mouth are typically how people can pick up the flu. He adds that frequently washing your hands is crucial as well.
Some people say, Oh, the flu is just a bad cold,’ Taege said. Well, you can call it a bad cold all you want, but it is more than that. Most people dont have any risk of dying from a cold unless you are immune compromised.
Taege points out the flu can be much more dangerous than a simple cold.
Influenza can kill anyone young or old or in between, he said. The flu comes on much more rapidly and much more forcefully than the common cold. Yes, some people, and some who are particularly vulnerable, do die from the flu.
Read Also: Number Of Flu Cases 2021
Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I’m Pregnant
Yes, it is strongly recommended that you get the flu vaccine if you are pregnant. It can be given in any trimester. Pregnant women are more likely to get severe complications from the flu than non-pregnant women, and it can be dangerous for their unborn baby too. Protection passed from the mother in pregnancy can protect her newborn as well. The flu vaccine has been proven to have an excellent safety record for both pregnant women and their unborn babies. Read more about pregnancy and immunisation.
What You Need To Know About Live Virus Vaccines
The weakened virus “teaches” your immune system to recognize the disease-causing pathogen and launch a pathogen-specific attack if it encounters it again. Many vaccines of this type give you lifelong immunity with only one or two doses.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Prevnar And Flu Shot Together
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
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.
You May Like: High Dose Flu Vaccine Recommendations
Annual Changes To Influenza Vaccines
Influenza vaccines can change from year to year with regard to:
- which vaccines are registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration
- the indicated ages for each vaccine
Always check annual seasonal influenza statements published by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on health.gov.au website and consult the product information for each vaccine.
Where Can I Get Vaccinated Against The Flu
People eligible for a free flu vaccineEligible people can get a free vaccination from their family doctor/general practice. It is usually the practice nurse who gives the vaccine. Many community pharmacies provide free flu vaccinations to people aged 13 years and older and pregnant women . People who are not eligible to receive a free flu vaccineThe flu vaccination is available from:
- your family doctor/general practice
Please contact your healthcare provider about the cost of getting the flu vaccine.
Also Check: Schedule Flu Shot With Cvs
How Is The Flu Vaccine Given
- Kids younger than 9 years old will get two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 1 month apart, if they’ve had fewer than two doses before July 2019. This includes kids who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time.
- Those younger than 9 who had at least two doses of flu vaccine will only need one dose.
- Kids older than 9 need only one dose of the vaccine.
Talk to your doctor about how many doses your child needs.
Annual Selection Of Viruses
The composition of influenza vaccines are updated annually by WHO based on information gathered from the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System , a partnership of 141 national influenza centres in 111 countries, 6 WHO collaborating centres and 4 WHO essential regulatory laboratories.
The WHO GISRS collects and analyses influenza virus samples from around the world on an ongoing basis. Each year, 1 or more components of the vaccine designated for the coming influenza season in the northern and/or southern hemisphere might be changed to reflect the most frequent and recent circulating influenza A and B viruses.
Also Check: Cold And Flu For High Blood Pressure