When To Get The Flu Shot
Flu season typically runs from late fall to early spring.
Flu shots are now available for all Ontarians. You should get a flu shot as soon as possible because it takes two weeks to take effect.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization now recommends that COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as the flu vaccine.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacy to learn more.
Testing And Treatment Of Respiratory Illness When Sars
While waiting on results of testing, non-hospitalized persons with acute respiratory symptoms should self-isolate at home. Even if people test negative for both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza 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 virus transmission in the community. Persons not hospitalized with suspected or confirmed influenza who are at increased risk for complications from influenza should receive antiviral treatment for influenza as soon as possible, regardless of illness duration.
For hospitalized patients, empiric oseltamivir treatment should be started as soon as possible for patients with suspected influenza without waiting for influenza testing results. Get more information on testing and treatment when SARS-CoV-2 and flu 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.
FDA-approved antiviral medications for treatment of influenza 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 higher risk for influenza complications is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus co-infection, they should receive antiviral treatment for influenza.
Administering Flu Vaccine During The Covid
Curbside and drive-through vaccination clinics may provide the best option for staff and patient safety during the COVID-19 pandemic in communities with high transmission. Read CDCs guidance on drive-through vaccination clinics.
No. Flu vaccination should be deferred for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms, until they have met the criteria to discontinue their isolation. While mild illness is not a contraindication to flu vaccination, vaccination visits for these people should be postponed to avoid exposing healthcare personnel and other patients to the virus that causes COVID-19. When scheduling or confirming appointments for flu vaccination, patients should be instructed to notify the health care professionals office or clinic in advance if they currently have or develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
Flu vaccination should be deferred until a patient is no longer acutely ill. This may be different for patients who are already being cared for in a medical setting than it is for patients who are isolating at home. In a medical setting, the timing for vaccination is a matter of clinical discretion. In general, patients who are isolating at home should wait until they meet criteria for leaving isolation to come to a vaccination setting in order to avoid spreading COVID-19 to others. CDC has guidance for when people can be around others after having COVID-19.
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How Serious Is Influenza
Influenza reduces the body’s ability to fight other infections. Bacterial pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs, is the most common complication from influenza, especially in elderly people. Influenza can also lead to more complications for people who have heart, lung or other health conditions. These complications can sometimes be fatal.
Vaccinations Are Still Vital Even With The Mismatch
In the pre-print review, researchers studied 40 healthy people after they received the annual flu vaccine. Those tests reveal more than half of the vaccine recipients had poor protection against the new H3N2 clade. In fact, Hensley that 55 percent of the vaccines had undetectable levels of neutralizing antibodies against 2a2 H3N2 after vaccination.
Despite the apparent mismatch in this seasons flu shot, the researchers still encourage people to get a flu shot this winter. They add that even in years where the shot does a below-average job of blocking certain flu strains, they do keep more people from developing serious and potentially fatal symptoms.
Studies have clearly shown that seasonal influenza vaccines consistently prevent hospitalizations and deaths even in years where there are large antigenic mismatches, Hensley concludes.
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A Flu Vaccine Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Flu vaccination has many benefits. It has been shown to reduce flu illnesses and also to reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes that can result in hospitalization or even death in older people. Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
The best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications is with a flu vaccine. CDC recommends that almost everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year, ideally by the end of October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even into January or later.
Flu vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses. Also, immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against flu. Because immunity may decrease more quickly in older people, it is especially important that this group is not vaccinated too early . September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated for people 65 years and older.
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.
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Should People Who Are Pregnant Get A Booster Shot
The COVID-19 booster recommendations apply to all people 18 years and older, including those who are pregnant. In fact, the CDC urges pregnant people to get a COVID-19 vaccine — and a booster is half a full vaccine dose.
“People who are pregnant or recently pregnant are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with people who are not pregnant,” the CDC says on its website.
A recent study also linked COVID-19 infection in pregnant people to higher risk of stillbirth. However, there is no evidence that getting vaccinated decreases fertility in women or men.
Health & Wellnessnew Study Debunks Common Myth About Getting Your Flu Shot Every Year
“Anyone who has COVID should absolutely wait until they’re no longer contagious to really go anywhere, and that includes going to get preventive care,” Block said. “It’s one thing to go get care if you’re sick, but if you’re getting preventive health care, the CDC says that it takes at least 10 days since the beginning of symptoms for you to no longer be contagious so as a rule of thumb I usually tell my patients to wait two weeks after starting symptoms.”
However, there is no need to delay vaccination after you or your child have recovered from COVID-19.
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Who Should Have The Vaccine
In 2021/22 flu season, the following people are eligible to receive the flu vaccine for free:
- All children aged 2 to 15 on 31st Aug 2021
- Those aged 50 years or over
- Those in long-term residential care homes
- Frontline health and social care workers
- Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- Those aged 6 months to 65 years in at-risk groups including people with the following health conditions:
- Respiratory diseases, including asthma
- Heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease
- Neurological conditions including learning disability
- A severely weakened immune system , a missing spleen, sickle cell anaemia or coeliac disease
- Being seriously overweight
Babies under 6 months old are too young to receive a flu vaccine. This is because they have maternal antibodies passed on from their mother which prevent the vaccine from working so well. Flu vaccination is offered to all pregnant women in the UK . As well as protecting pregnant women themselves, this also helps to protect their newborn babies from flu.
Your doctor may recommend the flu vaccine in other circumstances as well.
How Effective Is The Flu Shot For Seniors
The flu vaccine is not 100% effective, but its still one of the best ways to prevent the flu, according to the CDC. The regular flu vaccine seems to be less effective in seniors than it is in younger adults. However, PubMed studies have found the high-dose senior flu shot better protects older adults against the flu when compared with the standard flu vaccine.
Getting vaccinated also seems to reduce the severity of illness for people who get sick with the flu, according to the CDC. In fact, researchers have found that flu vaccinations in recent years have reduced the need for flu-related hospitalizations among older adults by 40%.
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Flu Vaccination: Better Early Or Late Than Never
While getting a flu shot in September or October is ideal, both early birds and procrastinators can still benefit from vaccination. The bottom line is that, whether you get your flu shot in August or December, some protection is better than nothing.
Flu symptoms like runny nose, coughing, sore throat, fever and body aches may sound minor, but they usually intensify very quickly. Advancing age often weakens the immune system and puts seniors at greater risk for serious complications from the flu like bronchitis, pneumonia, heart problems, secondary bacterial infections and even . Its important to understand that these complications can be fatal and are more likely in seniors who have chronic medical issues, such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes and neurological conditions like dementia.
Contact your doctor or pharmacist for guidance if you have questions about which vaccine is best for you and your family members and when to schedule your shots. For additional information on the 2021-2022 flu season and this years vaccines, visit CDC.gov/flu.
Is It Safe To Mix And Match Vaccine And Booster Brands
Yes. The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized mixing COVID-19 boosters, which in the US means Moderna and Pfizer. Any adult eligible for a booster can get any of the available brands of coronavirus vaccines. If you initially received Johnson & Johnson and it’s been two months or longer since you received the initial dose, you’ll be able to get the Moderna or Pfizer booster. If you received Moderna or Pfizer for your first two shots, you could pick any authorized vaccine available to you, if you qualify and it’s been six months or longer since your second shot.
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Why Is There A Need For Flu Vaccines Designed Specifically For People 65 Years And Older
People 65 years and older are at increased risk of developing serious complications from flu compared with young, healthy adults. This is partly because human immune defenses become weaker with increasing age. During most seasons, people 65 years and older account for the majority of flu hospitalizations and deaths. In the United States, between about 70 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people 65 years and older. The weakened immune system can also mean that older people dont respond as well to flu vaccination. Given the higher risk of severe flu illness and lower protective immune response after vaccination among older adults, substantial research and development have led to the production of new flu vaccines intended to provide better immunity in this age group.
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Who Should Not Get The Influenza Vaccine
Speak with a health care provider if you:
- Have had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of influenza vaccine, or any part of the vaccine. People with egg allergies can be safely immunized with the influenza vaccine
- Have had severe oculo-respiratory syndrome after getting an influenza vaccine
- Are receiving a checkpoint inhibitor to treat cancer. This may affect when you should get the vaccine
- Developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome within 8 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine without another cause being identified
GBS is a rare condition that can result in weakness and paralysis of the body’s muscles. It most commonly occurs after infections. In rare cases GBS can also occur after some vaccines. GBS may be associated with influenza vaccine in about 1 per million recipients.
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Is There Anyone Who Shouldn’t Get The Flu Shot
Block said that since influenza vaccines are “dead,” or don’t contain any live virus, people who are immunocompromised or pregnant can safely take them. If you have an allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine, talk to your doctor.
Children under the age of 6 months should not get the flu vaccine. Anyone currently experiencing a fever should not get a flu vaccine until their symptoms stop.
What Is In The Flu Shot
Every year, scientists around the world do their best to get one step ahead of the flu by developing that years iteration of the flu shot. As a reminder, vaccines work by giving your body a chance to fight off an altered version of a virus or bacteria, so that if and when it encounters the live virus in the wild, it already knows how to react, and you never get sick. But whats in a flu shot is a little more complicated.
The recipe starts with the four most common influenza strains from around the world, injected into fertilized chicken eggs or mammalian cells, deactivated so it doesnt give you the actual flu, mixed with a grab-bag of preservatives, antibiotics, and sugars. This combination is then formulated for a shot or spray to make it in time for the 2021 flu season. For those science-is-fucking-awesome types out there, this is indeed awesome.
Its also complex as hell something that keeps virologists on their toes every year. Influenza strains constantly mutate, but scientists get one shot at the annual vaccine, making their best guess some 30 weeks in advance to get the flu shot out to the public.
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Flu Shot Side Effects : What’s Normal And What’s Cause For Concern
All vaccines have the potential to cause side effects, and that includes your yearly flu shot. But most are totally normal.
The coronavirus is still a very real concern this fall, but so is the influenza virus, aka the flu. The good news is we have very safe and effective tools for fighting and preventing both potentially deadly viruses, thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines and the flu vaccine.
According to the CDC, flu shots are safe and one of the best ways to keep from getting and spreading the flu to others. And people who get vaccinated and get sick anyway often experience less severe symptoms. If you’re thinking of getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu, the CDC says it is safe to get both vaccines together .
The simple fact is, flu vaccines can save lives. There are plenty of myths out there about the flu vaccine, such as the idea that it can give you the flu. While that’s not true, you can experience some side effects from the flu shot. The side effects are usually mild and nothing to worry about, but it’s important to know about them so you’re not worried when you get your vaccine.
Below, Dr. Carmen Teague, specialty medical director at Atrium Health‘s Mecklenburg Medical Group shares what you need to know about common flu shot side effects that are normal, and which side effects may be a sign of something more serious.
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Flu Season Tips And Alerts
COVERAGE UNDER MAJOR HEALTH PLANS
FLUZONE® HIGH-DOSE QUADRIVALENT is free with Medicare Part B, and it may be covered with no co-payment or deductible under Medicare Advantage and private insurance plans.
FLUZONE® QUADRIVALENT INFLUENZA VACCINE
Helps protect people as young as 6 months of age against 4 different strains of the flu contained in the vaccine.
FLUBLOK® QUADRIVALENT INFLUENZA VACCINE
Proven flu protection in adults 50+, compared to a standard-dose influenza vaccine.
What are Fluzone® Quadrivalent, Flublok® Quadrivalent, and Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent?
Fluzone Quadrivalent, Flublok Quadrivalent, and Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent are vaccines indicated for immunization against disease caused by influenza A and B strains contained in the vaccine. Fluzone Quadrivalent is given to people 6 months of age and older. Flublok Quadrivalent is given to people 18 years of age and older. Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is given to people 65 years of age and older.
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