How Do Experts Know Which Variants Will Be Dominant In The Future
They do not, Campbell said.
Its important to know that researchers and vaccines makers must do the best they can to predict which vaccines will be spreading. No vaccine can be a perfect match for the future spread of a virus.
Under the best case scenario, the best technology is still three months behind, Campbell said.
Even so, people around the world are lucky that vaccine development is moving much more rapidly than it did in the past. And, it makes sense to have COVID-19 vaccines that protect people from a broad range of variants, not just omicron-specific vaccines, Campbell said.
Who Should And Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Everyone 6 months and older in the United States should get an influenza vaccine every season with rare exception. CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this universal recommendation since the 2010-2011 flu season.
Vaccination to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. A full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk is available at People at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications.
Clinical Trials Launching For New Mrna Flu Vaccines
- What: Testing for new type of flu vaccines based on mRNA technology .
- When: The Pfizer clinical trial is expected to start in mid-August. The Moderna clinical trial for a combined flu/COVID-19 vaccine will start later this summer or fall.
- Where:University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora
- Who is eligible to participate: The new mRNA flu vaccines are being tested first on older adults. People ages 65 to 85 who do not have a history of heart disease are eligible for the Pfizer clinical trial.
- How to get more information: People who wish to be screened to participate my call 720-777-4496 or send an email to
Innovations in vaccines are the direct result of global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Levin has developed and tested vaccines for a variety of infections over several decades and said the recent progress is stunning.
The advancements in developing new approaches to fighting disease, developing vaccines and implementing them have been remarkable, Levin said.
COVID-19 vaccines clearly have saved millions of lives, he said. While more than a million people have died in the U.S. since the pandemic started, Levin said the death toll would have been far greater without the new mRNA vaccines.
We asked Levin to explain more about mRNA vaccines and the groundbreaking clinical trials that are starting this summer.
Read Also: When Should You Take A Flu Shot
Why Do We Need The Flu Vaccine Every Year
Flu vaccines have an excellent safety record. They are the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths each year among at-risk groups. It is important to have a flu vaccine every year because the flu virus is very variable and changes over time. Each year there are different strains around, and a new vaccine has to be prepared to deal with them. Vaccination from previous years is not likely to protect people against current strains of flu.
Each years flu vaccine is made to give the best protection against the strains of flu that are expected to circulate in the coming season. The trivalent vaccine protects against three of the flu virus strains which are most likely to be around. The quadrivalent vaccine protects against four flu virus strains. However, decisions about what to put in the flu vaccine have to be made six months before the flu season starts.
Every February in the Northern Hemisphere, the World Health Organization reviews the types of flu that have been circulating in all parts of the world and chooses the ones which will go into the vaccine for the following autumn. This allows time for the vaccine to be made but it also gives the flu virus time to change before vaccination starts in the autumn. This means that sometimes the flu vaccine may not be a good match for all the strains of flu that are circulating. Read more about the WHO recommendations for the 2022-23 season.
Flu Vaccine Ingredients: The Strains
Every year, vaccine developers take virus samples from labs across the world and mix and match them. This years vaccine relies on four viruses this is called a quadrivalent vaccine. The four viruses in the vaccine are somewhat different for the three different types of flu vaccines, which are egg-based , recombinant, and egg-free.
Those viruses are
First, lets break down the terminology: A refers to the type of influenza that infects birds, humans, pigs, horses, seals, and dogs H#N# refers to the different proteins found in the outer shell of the virus pdm is short for pandemic and 09 is the year of said pandemic .
This years Apdm09 component is different for flu vaccines that are egg-based compared to those that are cell-based and recombinant-based. For egg-based vaccines, the component remained the same as last year: an A/Victoria/2570/2019pdm09-like virus. That refers to a flu strain akin to the one seen in the 2009 pandemic that was created in 2019 in a lab in Victoria.
For cell-based and recombinant vaccines, the component remained the same as last year: an A/Wisconsin/588/2019 pdm09-like virus.
The second component is a variant of the 2009 H1N1 swine flu. H3N2 was first found in pigs in 2010, then in humans in 2011. The biggest human outbreak was in 2012 with some 309 reported cases.
Also Check: Flu Shot Cost Without Insurance Cvs
Can Severe Problems Occur
Life-threatening allergic reactions to flu shots are very rare. Signs of serious allergic reaction can include breathing problems, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the shot. These reactions can occur among persons who are allergic to something that is in the vaccine, such as egg protein or other ingredients. While severe reactions are uncommon, you should let your doctor, nurse, clinic, or pharmacist know if you have a history of allergy or severe reaction to influenza vaccine or any part of flu vaccine.
There is a small possibility that flu vaccine could be associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, generally no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated. This is much lower than the risk of severe complications from flu, which can be prevented by flu vaccine.
Why Did We Need New Omicron
The original vaccines were highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. They were particularly effective in people who have received the recommended boosters, Campbell said.
But its normal for viruses to change and for variants to develop, Campbell said.
In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, multiple omicron variants have spread and become dominant throughout 2022. They include omicron variants known as BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5.
The original vaccines and boosters did not specifically fight these omicron variants because they hadnt developed yet. The proliferation of omicron variants has prompted the primary vaccine makers who are supplying COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. Pfizer and Moderna to create new, tailored versions of their booster shots that can better combat omicron variants. Federal health authorities approved the newly formulated vaccines on Sept. 1 and they will be available throughout the U.S. starting this month.
Recommended Reading: Can You Give Flu And Pneumonia Vaccine At Same Time
Where Can I Find Information About Vaccine Supply
Information about vaccine supply is available here.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
Variability Of Influenza Virus
The influenza A and B virus genome is composed of eight negative-sense RNA segments. The virus particle consists of a host-derived lipid envelope embedded with 3 or 4 glycoproteins surrounding the ribonucleoprotein complex and the polymerase proteins . The major influenza virus surface glycoproteins are hemagglutinin , neuraminidase , and, in smaller proportions, matrix protein 2 . Influenza B virus has an additional NB protein. Matrix protein 1 and nucleoprotein are associated with viral RNA and are important for viral assembly as well as budding, while the polymerase proteins are important for viral genome replication . HA and NA are the major antigenic proteins and are used to further classify influenza A viruses into multiple subtypes. Sixteen HA and 9 NA influenza A virus subtypes that are antigenically distinct have been identified, with the possible addition of a new subtype, H17, identified recently . Currently, lineages of H1 and H3 viruses circulate endemically in humans. Only a single subtype of influenza B virus has been identified, although two distinct antigenic lineages have evolved over time and cocirculate at variable levels in humans.
You May Like: Does Flu Shot Have Egg
How Effective Is The Seasonal Flu Shot
Influenza vaccine effectiveness can vary. The protection provided by a flu vaccine varies from season to season and depends in part on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine and the similarity or match between the viruses in the vaccine and those in circulation. During years when the flu vaccine match is good, it is possible to measure substantial benefits from flu vaccination in terms of preventing flu illness and complications. However, the benefits of flu vaccination will still vary, depending on characteristics of the person being vaccinated , what flu viruses are circulating that season and, potentially, which type of flu vaccine was used. More information is available at Vaccine Effectiveness How well does the Flu Vaccine Work.
There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year.
Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.
Gsk Prepares Us For 2022
For media and investors only
GSK begins shipping FLULAVAL QUADRIVALENT and FLUARIX QUADRIVALENT
Issued: Philadelphia, PA
GSK plc today announced it has started shipping doses of its quadrivalent influenza vaccines to US healthcare providers and pharmacies in preparation for the 2022-23 season. This immediately follows a licensing and lot-release approval from the US Food and Drug Administrations Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
GSK expects to distribute over 50 million doses of its influenza vaccine to the US market, continuing to support annual immunization across the US. Despite increased large-scale public health efforts in the 2021-2022 flu season, vaccination rates were similar to the 2020-2021 season. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from April 2022 also showed significant disparities in vaccination coverage for many age groups and ethnicities.1
Both FLULAVAL QUADRIVALENT and FLUARIX QUADRIVALENT will be available in a 0.5mL, single-dose, pre-filled syringe, and are indicated for patients six months and older in line with CDC recommendations.
CDC recommends an annual flu vaccination for anyone aged six months and older who do not have contraindications. According to CDC, annual influenza vaccinations are the best way to help protect against the flu.2
Also Check: Does Walgreens Take Medicaid For Flu Shots
What Is The Right Timing To Get A New Covid
Health experts are recommending the new COVID-19 booster shot for eligible children and adults who received their previous vaccine dose at least two months ago. While some people will want to wait four to six months after receiving their previous COVID-19 booster dose, medical experts wanted to give people as much freedom as possible to get a new vaccine dose when it works best for them.
Testing And Treatment Of Respiratory Illness When Sars
While waiting on results of testing, sick non-hospitalized persons with respiratory symptoms should self-isolate at home. Even if people test negative for both viruses, they should self-isolate because of the potential for false negative testing results depending upon what kind of test was done and the level of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza transmission in the community. Persons not hospitalized but who are at high-risk for complications from influenza should get antiviral treatment for influenza as soon as possible.
For hospitalized patients, empiric oseltamivir treatment for suspected influenza should be started as soon as possible regardless of illness duration, without waiting for influenza testing results. Get more information on testing and treatment when SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses are co-circulating.
CDC has developed clinical algorithms that can help guide decisions for influenza testing and treatment when SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses are co-circulating.
Influenza antiviral medications have no activity against SARS-CoV-2 viruses, nor do they interact with medications used for treatment of COVID-19 patients. If a patient who is at high risk for serious influenza complications is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus co-infection, they should receive influenza antiviral treatment.
Read Also: Cvs Flu Shot Under 18
Why Do Some People Not Feel Well Or Feel Like They Have Flu Symptoms After Getting A Flu Vaccine
While a flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, there may be times when you dont feel well after getting your flu vaccine. Heres why:
- You may get some mild and temporary side effects after your flu vaccine, such as soreness or redness where you got your shot, muscle aches, headache or a low fever. These common side effects usually begin soon after you get the vaccine and last 1-2 days. These reactions are a sign that your immune system is working and that your body is building protection against flu.
- You could become sick from other respiratory viruses that are spreading during flu season. A flu vaccine only protects you from the flu, not other illnesses like COVID-19 or the common cold.
- You could encounter flu viruses, which cause the flu, shortly before getting your flu vaccine or during the 2 weeks after getting the vaccine when your body is still building immunity. As a result, you could get the flu before the vaccine has the chance to protect you.
- You could experience flu-like symptoms, even after getting vaccinated, because you were exposed to a flu virus that is very different from the viruses that the vaccine is designed to protect against. There are many different flu viruses that spread and cause illness among people. However, even when the circulating flu viruses are not a perfect match to the strains in the flu vaccine, getting a flu vaccine should still help protect you against serious flu illness and its complications.
What Protection Does A Flu Vaccine Provide If I Do Get Sick With Flu
Some people who get vaccinated may still get sick. However, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick:
- A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients.
- Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with flu was 59% less likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit than someone who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.
In addition, its important to remember that flu vaccine protects against three or four different viruses and multiple viruses usually circulate during any one season. For these reasons, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older even if vaccine effectiveness against one or more viruses is reduced.
Read Also: Egg Free Flu Shot Cvs
How Much Influenza Vaccine Is Projected To Be Available For The 2022
Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so supply depends on manufacturers. Vaccine manufacturers have projected that they will supply the United States with as many as 173.5 million to 183.5 million doses of influenza vaccines for the 2022-2023 season. These projections may change as the season progresses. All flu vaccines for the 2022-2023 season will be quadrivalent . Most will be thimerosal-free or thimerosal-reduced vaccine , and about 20% of flu vaccines will be egg-free.
How Does The Flu Spread
Person to Person
People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.
To avoid this, people should stay away from sick people and stay home if sick. It is also important to wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly soiled. Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Eating utensils can be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap and do not need to be cleaned separately. Further, frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work and school, especially if someone is ill.
The Flu is Contagious
Recommended Reading: Target Walk In Flu Shot