Friday, September 29, 2023

Should I Get A Flu Shot Before Traveling

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Where Can I Go To Get Travel Vaccines

Should I Still Get a Flu Shot?

There are many providers for pre-travel health care. If you are traveling to a country with health risks similar to those in the United States, you may be able to see your family doctor or nurse for needed vaccines. Your city or county health department may also provide travel vaccines.

However, many travelers will need to see a travel medicine specialist. This might be the case if you are visiting several countries or countries with many health risks, or if you have a pre-existing health condition. To learn more about where to get travel vaccines, see Find a Clinic.

If yellow fever vaccine is recommended for or required by your destination, youll need to go to a vaccine center authorized to give yellow fever vaccinations. Many yellow fever vaccine centers also provide other pre-travel health care services. Find an

I Got Exposed To Covid Heres What I Learned To Do Next

ST. PETERSBURG Last week I was exposed to COVID-19.

I had a group of friends over for dinner before everyone left for the holidays. Everyone was fully vaccinated and symptom-free, so we thought we were in the clear.

The next morning, one guest tested positive.

As the highly contagious omicron variant spreads across the state, its a situation that Floridians will face over the holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines an exposure as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes.

So sitting next to an infected dinner guest for hours, as I did, definitely counts as an exposure.

Here are some steps that you can take to avoid exposure and what you can do if youve been exposed.

And Don’t Forget To Do Your Part

Don’t forget that it takes time for immunity to build up. So keep following Dr. Anthony Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you livewear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with , practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and don’t forget to get your second shot if you are receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Flu Shot Vaccine Called

You Had A Severe Reaction To The Shot Last Year

If you experienced a severe reaction to your flu shot last year, talk to your doctor first before heading in for this year’s vaccine. In most cases, the reaction you experienced wasn’t related to the flu shot at all. However, in some cases, it may be a sign that you’re allergic to a component used in the flu vaccine. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The flu vaccine isn’t recommended for anyone who had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine.”

According to Dr. May, you’ll know you’re having a severe allergic reaction if you experience “lip or tongue swelling, wheezing, hives, hoarseness, difficulty breathing, paleness or a fast heartbeat.”

Your doctor may still recommend that you get the flu vaccine since this illness can be dangerous and lead to serious complications. Your medical provider may want to monitor you or have another medical professional observe your reaction to the vaccine this year, just to be safe.

Wash Hands Clean Surfaces


If youve had an infected individual in your home, Anand said, its essential to wipe down surfaces with an antiviral cleaning agent. And you need to go back to washing your hands frequently, in case youve been slacking on that.

Household products like Lysol, Clorox, and a diluted solution of bleach work well for killing any virus particles left behind, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

We know that most infections come from airborne particles, Teng said. The best way to avoid contact with virus that you pick up from surfaces is still to wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

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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.

What If I Cant Find Home Tests Before The Holidays

The most important precaution is that everyone at the party who is eligible be fully vaccinated and have a booster shot. But since even vaccinated people can spread Omicron, rapid testing a few hours before an event adds another layer of protection and can prevent an infected person from unknowingly spreading the virus at the gathering.

But if you cant find rapid home tests, everyone should try to get a lab test as close as possible to the event, timing it so you get the results back before you see everyone. Any test is better than no test, said , an expert in biomedical diagnostics at Arizona State University who is also on the board of OraSure, which makes rapid Covid tests.

Limit other activities and try to isolate as you wait for the lab results so you dont get infected in the interim.

If everyone at the party cant get tested, then youll need to assess the risk. If all the partygoers are relatively young and healthy, and everyone has been vaccinated and boosted, the risk of gathering is relatively low.

But if a vulnerable person someone very old or who has significant health risks will be at the party, you may decide to scale it back or cancel if everyone cant be tested. If you decide to gather without testing, consider asking everyone to wear masks, and focus on ventilation by opening windows or getting a HEPA air cleaner. If youre in a warm area, try taking activities outside.

Also Check: Does Orange Juice Help With The Flu

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.

During Your Trip Follow Local Guidelines And Practice Healthy Habits

What should you get first, the COVID booster or the flu shot?
  • Pay attention to announcements from the local government in your travel destination and monitor the local health and security situation.
  • Follow any movement restrictions and prevention recommendations.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put the used tissue in the trash. If you dont have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.

What to do if you feel sick

It is expected that most people infected with flu will recover without needing medical care. However, if you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, seek medical care.

A U.S. consular officer can help you find local medical care in a foreign country. To contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country you are visiting, call Overseas Citizens Services at: 1-888-407-4747 if calling from the U.S. or Canada, 00-1-202-501-4444 if calling from other countries. You can also visit the websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missionsexternal icon to find the contact information for the local U.S. Embassy of the country you are visiting.

Follow all local health recommendations.

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Does It Matter What Brand Of Home Test I Get

As long as the tests are cleared by the Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization, it doesnt matter which brand you get, said Dr. Ratner.

At-home tests can be purchased at most major drugstores, though Walgreens and CVS announced on Wednesday theyre limiting the number of test kits per purchase at locations nationwide amid a surge in demand.

Currently, there are several rapid home antigen tests available in the United States. The best known include Abbotts BinaxNOW, Quidels QuickVue and the recently authorized test by Acon Labs, Flowflex.Newer tests on the market include the Intrivo On/Go, the iHealth Covid-19 test and the BD Veritor at-home digital test kit. The InteliSwab test has the longest wait time, at 30 to 40 minutes. Australias Ellume has been in the news for a high rate of false positives, but those faulty tests have been recalled. Most of the tests are typically packaged two per box, although Flowflex offers a single test pack for about $10. Read the label before you buy. Some of the tests require an app.

How to Manage the Current Covid Wave

Driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, coronavirus cases are surging again. Sort through the testing options and how to keep your loved ones safe.

Keep Away From Animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

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What Else Do You Need

The vaccines you should get depend on where you’re going.

No matter where youre going, check to make sure youre up to date on all routine vaccines: measles-mumps-rubella, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, hep B, and the annual flu vaccine.

Many travelers should get vaccines for hep A and typhoid. And many other vaccines are given based on your travel destination. For instance, if you’re going to certain parts of Africa and South America, you must get vaccinated against yellow fever.

But if you’re going to countries like Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and western Europe, you probably wont need any extra vaccines.

If you plan to travel to a part of the world where malaria is a possibility, your doctor will give you medicine to help prevent that. Its not a vaccine, but you’ll need it for protection. Use all of your anti-malaria prescription, including the pills you take when you come back home.

Also, If you are traveling to places where infections from mosquitos — such as Zika or dengue — are common, you should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites. There arent vaccines for those illnesses.

WebMD Medical Reference

Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine

Reddit, Help! My friend refuses to give herself or her ...

The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:

  • at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
  • capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19

The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.

Read Also: When Do Flu Shots Start 2021

People At High Risk Of Complications From The Flu

  • people with health conditions, such as:
  • cancer and other immune compromising conditions
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
  • children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid
  • people 65 years and older
  • people who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • children under 5 years of age
  • people who experience barriers in accessing health care
  • people who are at an increased risk of disease because of living conditions, such as overcrowding
  • Don’t Forget To Read The Vaccine Fact Sheet

    There is a reason the FDA requires a brand-specific fact sheet to be given to everyone who gets injected. “Reading the vaccine fact sheet can serve to be educational and reassuring,” explains Dr. Cherian. “There has been a lot of misinformation out there particularly around the safety of the available COVID-19 vaccines, if they have been properly tested, and possible side effects. Reading the vaccine fact sheet can help reassure people that all the current FDA approved vaccines for COVID-19 have not only been approved after reviewing hard data and facts by a data and safety monitoring board that is independent of politics, but also that all 3 of these vaccines are highly effective.” If you are curious what a vaccine looks like, here is the one for Moderna’s.

    Read Also: Feeling Sick 2 Weeks After Flu Shot

    You Need To Have A Will: Here Are Some Things To Consider In Getting One

    Muratore believes the pandemic is making the public more receptive to getting the flu vaccine.

    People who have refused it in the past, theyve shown theyre interested now, she said. Im glad that theyre willing to help bring about herd immunity for the flu so that other people who are more vulnerable dont get sick. Thats another reason to get the flu shot, to avoid giving the flu to your elderly parents, to people who are immune-compromised. Youre doing your part not only for yourself but for others.

    Email George Morris at .

    When To Get Vaccinated

    Should I Get a Flu Shot During the COVID Pandemic? with Dr. Siu Ming Geary | San Diego Health

    You should consult your doctor or visit a travel health clinic 6 to 12 weeks before you leave Australia.

    It is important to see your doctor early. If you do need vaccinations:

    • your body needs time to develop full immunity
    • you may need several doses of a vaccine to achieve full immunity.

    The cost of vaccines

    The vaccines you need for travel may not be covered by the National Immunisation Program. In this case, you will need to buy them. This may involve:

    • getting a prescription for the vaccine
    • buying it from a pharmacy
    • returning to your doctor to give you the vaccination.

    The cost of vaccines varies depending on the type, the formula and where you buy them.

    Some doctors might have these vaccines available in their clinics. Some pharmacies also offer vaccination services.

    Check with your provider when you book your appointment.

    Recommended Reading: This Years Flu Shot For Over 65

    How To Stay Safe Overseas

    The vaccine information you find on various websites is only a guide. You should not rely on such information. Talk to your doctor or travel health clinic for advice on travel vaccines and how to stay safe while you are overseas.

    Find more information:

    Im A Doctor And This Is How To Tell When Your Positive Lateral Flow Result Could Be Wrong

    • 13:10, 20 Dec 2021

    SEEING those two red lines come up on a lateral flow test is nothing short of a tragedy.

    However, if the positive line is very faint and appears after a certain amount of time, it could actually mean you are not infected, a doctor has said.

    Posting a photo of a vaguely positive lateral flow to , London-based A& E doctor Nathan explained what it could mean.

    He said: Essentially, if *any* line appears before the end of the interpretation window , then this is a *positive* test and you must isolate and book a PCR.

    However, if a line appears *after* the interpretation window then this does NOT count as a positive test. You do not need to isolate and you do not need to book a PCR.

    But if you have symptoms, regardless of the lateral flow test result, you should isolate and book a PCR test, he said.

    Nathan, who goes by @expedition_doctor on Instagram, said he recieved a positive PCR result following a very faint lateral flow test result.

    So what would a faintly positive test result mean outside the 30-minute mark, if not Covid?

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