Seasonal Flu And Covid
Every flu season is unique and influenza infection can affect people differently. Millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized, and thousands of people die from flu-related causes. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against the flu. Vaccination has many benefits including reducing the risk or severity of flu illnesses and hospitalizations, and even the risk of flu-related death in children.
Vaccination to prevent the flu is important for people who are at increased risk for severe illness and complications from the flu. People at high risk from the flu include those with chronic kidney disease at any stage, including patients on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients.
What Are The Benefits Of Flu Vaccination
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.
Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu.
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working-age adults, and older adults.
Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Flu vaccination also has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.
Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
Flu vaccines can be lifesaving in children.
Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
Where To Get The Influenza Vaccine
In Victoria the most common way people access the flu vaccine is from their doctor or a pharmacist immuniser . Some local council immunisation services also provide the flu vaccine as do some hospitals, maternity services and community health services.
Workplaces seeking to reduce the impact of flu infection on employees may also provide flu vaccination programs for their staff.
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Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
It can save lives by:
- protecting you, if you’re exposed to the virus
- preventing you from getting very sick
- protecting people close to you:
- because you’re less likely to spread the virus
- who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.
Who Shouldn’t Get A Flu Shot
Some people shouldn’t get a flu shot, regardless of whether they’re sick at the time. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if any of these apply to you or your child:
- Being under 6 months of age
- Previous severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine
- If you’ve ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome
In these situations, talk to your healthcare provider about whether the flu vaccine is safe for you.
Cold and Flu Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next doctor’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
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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 the viruses that are used to make the vaccine.
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Most flu vaccines in the United States protect against four different flu viruses an influenza A virus, an influenza A virus, and two influenza B viruses. There are also some flu vaccines that protect against three different flu viruses an influenza A virus, an influenza A virus, and one influenza B virus. Two of the trivalent vaccines are designed specifically for people 65 and older to create a stronger immune response.
What Is An Enhanced Influenza Vaccine
An enhanced flu vaccine is one that contains an adjuvant, an ingredient designed to increase the immune-system response to the vaccine. People aged 65 and older are often given an enhanced influenza vaccine because since the immune system weakens with age they dont respond as well to the flu vaccine as healthy, younger adults.
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If Youve Got Any Questions Check With Your Doctor
If you have any questions about the timing of your booster or about anything else vaccine-related definitely check in with your family doctor. Theyre a reliable resource for vaccine information in general, but they can also take into account your specific symptoms, health history, any upcoming plans, and so on.
Keep in mind that the ultimate goal right now is to get as many people as possible vaccinated and boosted quickly and safely, particularly as omicron picks up steam.
Were watching these numbers go up and up, and we know the way were going to stop this is vaccinating the totally unvaccinated and boosting the people who have been vaccinated and are time-wise ready for a boost, Fisher said.
Experts are still learning about COVID-19. The information in this story is what was known or available as of publication, but guidance can change as scientists discover more about the virus. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most updated recommendations.
Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick
Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*Its important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
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Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have A Latex Allergy
Influenza vaccines used in Australia dont contain latex and are safe for people with a latex allergy or sensitivity. While the product information for Fluarix Tetra and Fluad Quad state that some presentations of the vaccine cannot be considered latex-free, these presentations are actually not supplied in Australia.
Flu Vaccine For Frontline Health And Social Care Workers
If you’re a frontline health and social care worker, your employer should offer you a flu vaccine. They may give the vaccine at your workplace.
You can also have an NHS flu vaccine at a GP surgery or a pharmacy if:
- you’re a health or social care worker employed by a registered residential care or nursing home, registered homecare organisation or a hospice
- you work in NHS primary care and have direct contact with patients this includes contractors, non-clinical staff and locums
- you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets, or both
So Can You Get A Flu Shot When Youre Sick
Pull up a seatweve got a few things to cover here. While the CDC is kinda-totally vague about whether its okay to get a flu shot when youre sick, the CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has general vaccine info that addresses whether its okay to receive any vaccine when youre not feeling well.
The language is a little medical jargony, but it says that a lot boils down to how severe your symptoms are and what kind of illness you have. The safety and efficacy of vaccinating persons who have mild illnesses have been documented, the ACIP says, adding that, vaccination should be deferred for persons with a moderate or severe acute illness.
In general, if you have a little cold or the sniffles, its okay to proceed with a flu shot. Timothy Murphy, MD
Here’s how you can break that all down: In general, if you have a little cold or the sniffles, its okay to proceed with a flu shot, says Timothy Murphy, MD, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. To a certain extent, its a judgment call, depending on how bad youre feeling.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Antiviral Drugs
Side effects vary for each medication. The most common side effects for oseltamivir are nausea and vomiting. Zanamivir can cause bronchospasm, and peramivir can cause diarrhea. Other less common side effects also have been reported. Your health care provider can give you more information about these drugs or you can check the Food and Drug Administration websiteexternal icon for specific information about antiviral drugs, including the manufacturers package insert.
Parents, if your child gets sick with flu, antiviral drugs offer a safe and effective treatment option. For treatment, influenza antiviral drugs should ideally be started within 2 days after becoming sick and taken according to your doctors instructions .
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When Should Antiviral Drugs Be Taken For Treatment
Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be beneficial, especially if the sick person is at higher risk of serious flu complications or is in the hospital with more severe illness. Follow instructions for taking these drugs.
Some Vaccines Are Better Suited Than Others
Michael Clements, a GP and spokesperson for the Australia Medical Association Queensland, said there is a difference between the flu vaccines you pay for, and those that are free.
Dr Clements said the best vaccine is the free one offered by the Government to those who are eligible that is, people aged over 65, under the age of five, and those with chronic illnesses.
These vaccines are considered superior by doctors because they are specially purchased by the Government to meet the specific needs of those groups.
For example, those aged over 65 need a stronger vaccine compared to the rest of the population.
The vaccine for the rest of the population available from a GP, pharmacy, or offered by an employer can be provided by different brands through private contracts.
Dr Clements said, vaccines are considered inferior for over-65s, children and the chronically ill, they are completely fine for the fit and healthy population.
It’s important to note that all influenza vaccines administered in Australia are approved by the Therapeutical Goods Administration.
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What Are Flu Antiviral Drugs
Flu antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that fight against flu viruses in your body. Antiviral drugs are not sold over the counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from a health care provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
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.
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What Should I Do If I Get Sick
Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a higher-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider .
Certain people are at increased risk of serious flu-related complications . For a full list of people at increased risk of flu-related complications, see People at Higher Risk of Developing FluRelated Complications. If you are in a higher-risk group and develop flu symptoms, its best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your higher-risk status for flu. CDC recommends that people at higher risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset.
Getting A Flu Shot When Youre Very Sick
A runny nose is one thing, but a significant acute illness is another. If youre spiking a high fever, have pneumonia, or need to be admitted to the hospital, you want to wait until you recover, Dr. Vicetti says.
Two things can happen if you forge ahead your flu shot when youre very sick, Dr. McNeeley explains. You might not get a good enough effect from the vaccine and it could take longer for your illness to resolve. The problem is your body is trying to do two things at oncefight whatevers ailing you and build resistance to the flu.
Football players dont go in at halftime and lift weights for a reason, he says. The same thing when youve got a fever and youre really sick.
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Will There Be Flu Along With Covid
While its not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, CDC believes its likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever. CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.
Injection Vs Nasal Spray Vaccine
The influenza vaccine can be delivered as either an injection or as a nasal spray.
The flu shot can come in a variety of forms that protect against three or four influenza strains. Although no type of flu shot is recommended over others, you should speak to your doctor about which one is best for you.
The nasal spray contains a small dose of a live, but weakened form of the influenza virus.
The nasal spray
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Is It Better To Get The Flu Than The Flu Vaccine
No. The flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as chronic kidney disease at any stage including patients on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients who have weakened immune systems. All flu infections carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization, or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults. Therefore, to obtain immune protection, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking severe illness.
Allergic Reactions To The Flu Vaccine
It’s very rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine. If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
Anyone can report a suspected side effect of a vaccine through the Yellow Card Scheme.
Who Should Get Immunised Against Influenza
Everyone who is able to be vaccinated, should be vaccinated against the flu, every year.
Yearly flu vaccination is provided free through the National Immunisation Program for most people in the community who are at an increased risk of serious complications.
In Victoria, flu vaccination is free for:
- children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months and over
- pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- people 65 years and over.
- people aged six months and older with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications:
- cardiac disease
- children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
People not eligible for free flu vaccination under the National Immunisation Program can purchase the flu vaccine from their immunisation provider.
How Can I Prevent Getting Sick With The Flu Or Covid
People with chronic kidney disease at any stage and those who have a weakened immune system from a kidney transplant should understand they are at increased risk of severe illness from both COVID-19 and the flu. These individuals need to take precautions such as vaccinations and other measures to help prevent infection.