Is The Nasal Spray Vaccine As Effective As The Flu Shot
There are several different types of flu vaccines. Many of them are given as an injection. These vaccines contain inactivated flu virus or only single viral proteins.
The nasal spray vaccine is a flu vaccine thats sprayed into your nose. Its made up of virus thats been weakened so it cant establish an infection. Its known as FluMist or the live-attenuated influenza vaccine .
In previous years, the nasal spray vaccine wasnt recommended. The reason for this was because it had less effectiveness in children against certain types of influenza viruses.
However, there have been recent improvements in the manufacturing of this vaccine and some data indicates that the effectiveness of the nasal spray vaccine is now similar to that of the flu shot.
Because of this, the nasal spray vaccine has been recommended since the 20182019 flu season. In fact, the
Previously, we discussed that the effectiveness of the flu vaccine can vary from year to year. Lets take a deeper dive into why this is the case.
Who Should Not Get The Flu Shot
Very few children should NOT get a flu shot:
- Babies under 6 months of age. Although the vaccine is not harmful to babies less than 6 months old, it does not work.
- If your child has a serious allergy to thimerosal , a thimerosal-free vaccine should be given.
The influenza vaccine is safe for individuals with an egg allergy.
Who Should And Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. For the 2021-2022 flu season, three main types of influenza vaccines will be available. Two kindsthe inactivated influenza vaccines and the recombinant influenza vaccine are injectable . The third type, the live attenuated influenza vaccine , is given by nasal spray. Different influenza vaccines are approved for different age groups. Some people should not get some types of influenza vaccines, and some people should not receive influenza vaccines at all . Everyone who is vaccinated should receive a vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health status. There is no preference for any one vaccine over another.
This page includes information on who should and who should not get an influenza vaccine, and who should talk to a health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding which influenza vaccines are best for you and your family.
All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual flu vaccination, with rare exception.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.
People who can get the flu shot:
Flu shots are appropriate for most people.
People who SHOULD NOT get a flu shot include:
People who SHOULD NOT get a nasal spray vaccine:
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Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine
Nationally, influenza vaccination prevented an estimated 7.52 million illnesses, 3.69 million medical visits, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths due to influenza during the 2019-2020 season. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through the community.
It is especially important to get the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Flu vaccination reduces the prevalence and severity of illness caused by flu, reducing symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19
- It will reduce the overall burden of respiratory illness that will protect people at higher risk for severe illness of both flu and COVID-19
- The reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions from flu vaccination will alleviate stress on the health care system
For additional information, please see the CDC page: This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!
Limits Of Influenza Vaccination In Pediatric Age
Another potential limit of IV in pediatric age is the need for 2 shots in the younger naïve children, especially in infants who have a very full immunization schedule. Studies showed that the second dose was not always received or delayed far beyond the recommended interval of 28 days . There were probably several reasons for incomplete vaccinations, such as schedule complexity, in between-doses frequent infections, difficulties in scheduling a doctor appointment, financial barriers, and lack of providerparent discussions on the importance of the second dose . Efforts should be made in order to overcome the two shots with just one effective single dose for every age. This change can potentially simplify IV procedures and improve the adherence to IV schedule.
The IVs remain the primary choice for all children, even though LAIV, besides its capacity of inducing mucosal IgA antibodies, providing protection at the site of viral entry against subsequent infection, and eliciting both humoral, and cellular immune responses, may also improve the compliance thanks to its non-invasive administration .
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Immune Response To Infection In The Elderly
With advancing age, the innate and adaptive immune responses gradually deteriorate, manifesting in a reduced capacity to respond to infection and immunization. Vaccine immunogenicity is defined as the strength or magnitude of an immune response. Vaccine efficacy and effectiveness measure the proportionate reduction in cases among vaccinated persons either under ideal or field conditions, respectively., The elderly typically experience a vaccine-induced immunogenicity of only 3040%. Immunosenescence is increasingly being viewed less as an overall deterioration in response but rather a remodeling of the immune system which results in dysregulation of various components some functions deteriorate while others remain unchanged or overreact .
Why Should Older Adults Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is especially important for older adults because they tend to have weaker immune systems.
When the immune system isnt strong, it becomes harder for the body to fight off infections. Likewise, a weaker immune system can lead to flu-related complications.
Secondary infections that can develop with the flu include:
- ear infections
People ages 65 and older are at higher risk for serious complications. In fact, its estimated that as many as 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people ages 65 and older. Plus, up to 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people ages 65 and older.
If you become ill after getting a vaccination, a flu shot may lessen the severity of symptoms of the illness.
Protecting yourself from the flu is increasingly important while COVID-19 is a factor.
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Are Any Of The Flu Vaccines Recommended Over The Others
No. For the 2021-2022 flu season, CDC and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older with any licensed age-appropriate flu vaccine including inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live-attenuated influenza vaccine , with no preference given for any one vaccine over another.
To 2022 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine: Mobile Guide For Health Professionals
Important notice: This guidance is based on currently available scientific evidence and expert opinion. The content will be reviewed regularly and updates will be made as necessary throughout the influenza season as the public health context evolves and new evidence emerges.
The following is a summary of recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization .
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How Safe Is The Flu Vaccine
The influenza vaccine is very safe. It cannot cause the flu. Side effects are usually mild and can include:
- mild soreness where the needle went into the arm for 1 to 2 days.
- a mild fever or aches for the first day or 2 after immunization.
Do not give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen before or around the time of vaccination as it does not prevent the pain of injection and it could have an impact on how well the vaccine works. These medications can be used to treat fever, pain, or other bothersome side effects if they develop after vaccination.
When Should I Be Vaccinated
You should get a flu vaccine before viruses begin spreading in your community because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. CDC recommends that everyone should get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
However, if you have not received your vaccination before October, getting vaccinated later in the season is still beneficial, even into January or later.
Children who need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected should be vaccinated as soon as vaccine is available, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
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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 Option Is Best For You
If youre getting the flu vaccine, you may wonder whether one option is better than others. Your doctor can point you to the one that should work best for you.
In certain years, the nasal spray hasnt been recommended due to effectiveness concerns. But both the shot and the nasal spray are recommended for the 2020 to 2021 flu season.
For the most part, the flu vaccine is safe. But you should check with your doctor before getting it if you have one the following:
- a previous bad reaction to the vaccine or its ingredients
- a fever
Its not unusual to experience mild flu-like symptoms after a vaccination. These symptoms tend to disappear after one to two days. Other common side effects of the vaccine include soreness and redness at the injection site.
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Flu Strains Chosen For The Vaccine
Influenza viruses are constantly changing. Because of this, the influenza strains that were common during last years flu season may not be as prevalent for the current flu season.
Early each year, scientists meet to select the strains to include in the flu vaccine for countries in the northern hemisphere, including the United States. These meetings are held early in the year because vaccine producers need time to make the vaccine so its ready for the beginning of the flu season in the fall.
Vaccine strains are chosen based on what current surveillance data predicts may be the most common strains for the upcoming flu season. However, sometimes the selected strains dont match well with the strains that actually end up being most prevalent during a flu season.
When this happens, vaccine effectiveness can be low. However, if the strains selected are a good match, vaccine effectiveness is higher.
Considerations For Getting A Covid
Its safe for your health care provider to administer a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. If youre 12 years of age or older, you may get the flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. You may also get it any time before or after you receive the flu shot.
For children aged 5 to 11, the National Advisory Council on Immunization recommends a 14-day interval between a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines. This is to help better monitor for possible side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Provinces and territories will decide on an interval for this age group as part of their vaccination programs.
Talk to a health care provider or consult your provincial or territorial public health authority for the latest guidance.
Learn more about:
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Does Medicare Cover Vaccines For Older Adults
Medicare Part B covers vaccines that protect against the flu and pneumococcal disease and the hepatitis B vaccine if youre at increased risk for hepatitis B. It also covers vaccines that you might need after an injury or coming into contact with a disease .
Medicare Part D plans generally cover more vaccines than Part B. But depending on your Medicare Part D plan, you may have out-of-pocket costs for these vaccines. Contact Medicare to find out whats covered.
Did you know? There is a high-dose flu vaccine and an adjuvanted flu vaccine, which includes an adjuvant that creates a stronger immune response. Both vaccines are designed to be more effective in older adults. Learn more about flu vaccines for adults age 65 and older .
How Does Flu Spread
Flu spreads mainly by droplets when people who have flu talk, cough, or sneeze, and these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or are inhaled. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
People can spread flu to others from one day before they have symptoms to 5-7 days after they get sick. This can be longer in children and people who are very sick.
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What Vaccine Should Be Used
For several decades, influenza vaccines contained two subtypes of influenza A and one lineage of influenza B. Two lineages of influenza B have been in circulation simultaneously in recent years, and trivalent vaccines are now being replaced by quadrivalent vaccines containing two strains of influenza A and both lineages of influenza B. NACI recommends preferential use of quadrivalent vaccines for children and adolescents because influenza B causes more mortality and morbidity in children than in adults.
Two types of influenza vaccines are licensed in Canada: inactivated influenza vaccines for intramuscular injection and an intranasal, live attenuated influenza vaccine .
IIV is available in quadrivalent and trivalent forms. An adjuvanted IIV3 is available for children 6 to 23 months of age and may be used for this age group when IIV4 is not available. While adjuvants are designed to enhance vaccine immunogenicity, there is insufficient evidence at the present time to make a preferential recommendation for adjuvanted or unadjuvanted IIV3. A new type of IIV4, a vaccine produced in mammalian cell cultures rather than in eggs , was authorized for use in Canada in children 9 years of age and older and in adults in the fall of 2019.
|Table 1. Choice of influenza vaccine for selected age and risk groups*|
Age group, health profile
Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine This Season
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza. A full listing of people at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications is available.
Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
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 old and flu shots approved for use in adults 65 years and older.
- Flu shots also are recommended for pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in non-pregnant people who are 2 years through 49 years of age. People who are pregnant and people with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.
There are many vaccine options to choose from. CDC does not recommend any one flu vaccine over another. 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 flu vaccine to get, talk to your doctor or other health care professional. More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated.
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What Are The Types Of Flu Vaccines
Two types of flu vaccine are available for the 20202021 flu season. Both protect against the four types of influenza virus that are causing disease this season::
- the flu shot, which is injected with a needle
- the nasal spray, a mist which gets sprayed into the nostrils
In the past, the nasal spray vaccine wasn’t recommended for kids because it didn’t seem to work well enough. The newer version appears to work as well as the shot. So either vaccine can be given this year, depending on the child’s age and general health.
The nasal spray is only for healthy people ages 249. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine.
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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