Annual Vaccination Is Recommended
Annual vaccination before the onset of each flu season is recommended. In most parts of Australia, this occurs from June to September.
Immunisation from April provides protection before the peak season. While the flu continues to circulate, it is never too late to vaccinate.
The flu vaccine cannot give you influenza because it does not contain live virus. Some people may still contract the flu because the vaccine may not always protect against all strains of the flu virus circulating in the community.
Doctors Say Do These 2 Things The Morning Of Your Vaccine Appointment
Taking these simple steps before your shot can ensure you feel your best.
The novelty of the coronavirus and the vaccine that’s come along with it have us thinking more deeply about getting our shots than ever before. What should you do to prepare? What medicine can you take and when? And what should you expect afterwards? While you’ve likely heard tons about what not to do before you get vaccinated, you might not be as well aware of what can help ensure your vaccination goes as smoothly as possible. Now, medical experts have some advice about what you should do the day of your shot. To see what doctors say you should do the morning of your vaccine appointment, read on, and for some vaccine advice from the nation’s leading expert, check out Dr. Fauci Just Said Don’t Take This Medication With the COVID Vaccine.
People At High Risk Of Complications From The Flu
- people with health conditions, such as:
- cancer and other immune compromising conditions
- kidney disease
- neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
- children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid
A Closer Look At The Safety Data
Findings from vaccine safety monitoring systems and scientific studies have shown that the flu vaccines have an excellent safety profile. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines for more than 50 years and the body of scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports their safety.
The safety of flu vaccines is monitored by CDC and FDA. Certain safety outcomes are commonly evaluated, including Guillain-Barré Syndrome, maternal and infant safety, and febrile seizures.
The data on an association between seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine and GBS have been variable from season-to-season. When there has been an increased risk, it has been in the range of 1-2 additional GBS cases per million flu vaccine doses administered. The data also indicate that a person is more likely to get GBS after flu disease than after getting a flu vaccine. Learn more about Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
Maternal and Infant Safety
Pregnant women are considered at high risk for developing serious complications from flu. Several studies have shown that influenza vaccination can protect pregnant women during and after pregnancy and protect the baby from influenza infection for several months after birth. More information on flu vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women and their babies.
If I Get Flu Can I Still Get Covid
Yes. The infections are caused by different viruses. So just because you get one, doesnt mean you cant get the other. And there have been cases of people getting both at the same time. New research from PHE suggests that co-infection of both flu and COVID-19 is associated with a greater risk of more severe illness and death.
Also Check: What Age To Start Flu Shot
How Effective Is The Flu Shot
The vaccine formulation changes every year to try to “match” the influenza viruses that are spreading in our communities. The vaccine is more effective when it has a good match. Even if a flu vaccine was not well-matched, it is still beneficial to get vaccinated. If you do get the flu after vaccination, influenza illness may be less severe than if you had not been vaccinated. Getting vaccinated also helps to protect your community by promoting herd immunity.
How well the vaccine works varies from year to year. Overall, receiving the flu vaccine usually reduces the risk of getting the flu by between 40% and 60% among most people when the vaccine is well-matched with the isolated virus. Some people respond better than others to the flu vaccine and build stronger immunity. People that are older than 65 years typically build weaker immune responses to the influenza vaccine which is why there are special flu vaccines made especially for seniors.
Avoid Alcohol Before And After Your Vaccination
As Health previously reported, there are a few key reasons to nix alcohol for at least a few days before and after receiving the vaccine. While some people have minimal or no vaccine side effects, others may experience fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Even light alcohol consumption can trigger dehydration, which may intensify these side effects. And if you’re dehydrated or have a bit of a hangover, it may be difficult to distinguish between your body’s reaction to the alcohol versus the vaccine.
Drinking alcohol has also been shown to stress the immune system. In a paper published in the journal Alcohol Research, researchers noted that there’s been a long-observed relationship between excessive alcohol intake and a weakened immune response. And while alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, it triggers more sleep disturbances and interferes with overall sleep quality and duration, another disruptor of optimal immune function.
Read Also: How To Tell If It’s A Cold Or Flu
How Does The Flu Vaccine Work
There are several different kinds of flu vaccines available today. The flu shot is either made with “inactivated” or killed viruses or no virus at all. The vaccines that do not contain the virus are called “recombinant” vaccines and only contain certain proteins found in the influenza virus known as subunits. The nasal spray flu vaccine is made with live viruses that have been rendered too weak to cause any illness. This type of vaccine is called a “live-attenuated” vaccine. Regardless of which type of vaccine you get, your body creates antibodies that protect you from the flu by attacking the virus.
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:
Recommended Reading: What Vitamin Is Good For The Flu
Is It Safer To Get My Flu Shot At A Doctors Office Than Say A Pharmacy Or Urgent Care Center
Whether youre going to a doctors office, pharmacy, or urgent care center, take the same precautions that you would if you were going to a grocery store, Dr. Ratner says, meaning you should wear your mask, practice good hand hygiene , and, if possible, avoid going at the busiest times of the day. You can call and ask your doctors office, local drug store, or urgent care center if they have any times of day that are usually less busy, he says.
If you can, try to schedule your flu vaccine at the pharmacy, urgent care, or wherever you decide to go, Dr. Javaid says, which is a service many locations are already offering. That will help you avoid unnecessary crowds and keep you from having to wait around with others.
But, ultimately, as long as everyone is keeping up the health safety behaviors they should be, there wont be any huge difference in risk related to getting your vaccine in different places, Dr. Ratner says, even if theres a line. Some states and cities are even offering drive-through vaccinations. And we know that the benefits of getting the flu shot will likely outweigh the risks, especially if people are taking the appropriate precautions.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Protect Myself
We have all become much more aware about how viruses spread and the measures we can take to prevent infection. Flu spreads in a similar way to COVID-19, you can stop the spread of both viruses by:
- washing your hands frequently,
- covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze,
- using a face covering on public transport and in public places please refer to
- throwing tissues away in the bin
- using hand sanitizer if you dont have access to soap and water.
Also Check: What Do Doctors Give For The Flu
Do Not Get Your Vaccine On An Empty Stomach
Having something nutritious in your system pre-injection can help the entire process feel a bit more bearable.
While eating before your appointment does not appear to have any effect on the vaccines effectiveness, it could help prevent you from fainting or feeling dizzyespecially if you dont typically do well with needles.
Considering people are required to wait at least 10 to 15 minutes post-vaccine to monitor for any potential allergic reactions to the injection, eating something beforehand can help you feel your best during the entire process.
Most facilities won’t allow you to eat snacks in the waiting area.
Choose food combinations that include unrefined carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein to give your meal some staying power. Something as little as a piece of fruit with nut butter can be a perfect pick-me-up before your appointment.
What If I Have An Egg Allergy
Most flu shots and the nasal spray flu vaccine are made using egg-based technology, and may contain a small amount of egg proteins. However, studies show that severe allergic reactions to the flu shot and nasal spray vaccine are unlikely in people with egg allergies. People who have experienced only hives after exposure to eggs can receive any influenza vaccine. If eggs have given you serious allergic reactions, meaning any symptom other than hives, you can still receive any of the available influenza vaccines but you should receive it in a health care provider’s office, hospital, clinic, or health department under the supervision of a health care provider who can recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Your provider may recommend that you receive the egg-free influenza vaccine.
Also Check: Is Advil Multi Symptom Cold And Flu Non Drowsy
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.
Flu Vaccine And Coronavirus
Flu vaccination is important because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.
You May Like: Does Wegmans Do Flu Shots
How Cdc Monitors Vaccine Safety
CDC and FDA monitor the safety of vaccines after they are approved or authorized. If a problem is found with a vaccine, CDC and FDA will inform health officials, health care providers, and the public.
CDC uses 3 systems to monitor vaccine safety:
- The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System : an early warning system, co-managed by CDC and FDA, to monitor for potential vaccine safety problems. Anyone can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS.
- The Vaccine Safety Datalink : a collaboration between CDC and 9 health care organizations that conducts vaccine safety monitoring and research.
- The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project: a partnership between CDC and several medical research centers that provides expert consultation and conducts clinical research on vaccine-associated health risks.
Reaction At The Injection Site
The most common side effect of the flu shot is a reaction at the injection site, which is typically on the upper arm. After the shot is given, you may have soreness, redness, warmth, and in some cases, slight swelling. These effects usually last less than two days.
To help reduce discomfort, try taking some ibuprofen before getting your shot.
You May Like: When Should You Take A Flu Shot
Should I Get The Flu Shot Or The Flu Spray
The flu vaccine is available in two forms: the injected vaccine and the nasal spray. The shot is approved for everyone over 6 months.
It’s long been advised that people with allergies to eggs should not get the flu shot. However, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says the vaccine contains such a low amount of egg protein that it’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in those with an egg allergy. If you have a severe egg allergy , talk to your doctor before getting the flu vaccine. Also, flu vaccines not made with the use of eggs are available.
Talk to your doctor if you have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome. People who are moderately or severely ill should wait until they recover to get the vaccine.
Intradermal flu vaccines go into the top layer of skin instead of the muscle, which means the needle can be 90% smaller than the kind used for a standard flu injection. Like the egg-free vaccines, this one seems like it would be ideal for babies and kids, but it’s approved only for adults 18 to 64.
You’re Allergic To Gelatin
If you have a gelatin allergy, it’s important to consult with your medical provider before getting a flu shot. According to Dr. Stephanie Albin Leeds, MD, an allergist from Northwell Health, “Gelatin is used in the flu shot, as well as other vaccines, as a stabilizer. Because it is found in the vaccine, those with a known allergy to gelatin can experience allergic reactions, such as hives, sneezing, and difficulty breathing.”
A gelatin allergy is rare, but if you know you are allergic, you can still get the flu shot. However, it should be administered by a board-certified allergist. He or she can observe you after administering the shot and take the necessary steps to reverse an allergic reaction, if one does occur.
Recommended Reading: When Should People Get Flu Shots
Is It Ok To Get The Flu Vaccine More Than Once In The Same Flu Season
Studies have not shown there is any benefit for most adults getting more than one dose of vaccine in the same flu season. However, its recommended that some people get 2 doses of the flu vaccine in one season:
- children under 9 years old who have not ever been vaccinated against the flu
- people who are having flu vaccination for the first time after a stem cell transplant or organ transplant
- pregnant women, who may be vaccinated with the next seasons influenza vaccine if it becomes available in the latter part of their pregnancy, even if they had the previous seasons vaccine
- overseas travellers who are going to the northern hemisphere winter
When Should I Get The Flu Shot
The flu season varies from year to year, but it has been known to start as early as October, peak in the winter months between December and February, and then may continue as late as May. The CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine early in the fall, before the flu season begins, ideally no later than the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to build up the antibodies against the flu. It’s better late than never, though. Even if you don’t get the flu vaccine until January or later, you can still benefit from it.
It’s important to get the flu vaccine every year because both you and the flu virus change. The antibodies that you create to build immunity to the flu will decrease with time, so you need a new vaccine to renew your supply of antibodies. The flu viruses are also constantly changing, which is why there is a new formulation every year.
Read Also: Do I Need Health Insurance To Get A Flu Shot