I Heard That The Flu Vaccine Was Not Very Effective Why Should I Get It If Its Not Effective
While vaccine effectiveness can vary, studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. It is also the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Remember, if you dont get a vaccine at all, thats 0% effective.
Who Should Get The Shot And When
Most people older than 6 months should get a yearly flu vaccine. Kids younger than 2 are more likely to have problems because of the flu than older kids and adults. Children should get the vaccine by October of each year. Flu season usually runs from November to May, with a peak in February.
The flu vaccine doesnât help kids as long as other vaccines do. It is only effective for that particular season. That’s because the flu virus is always changing. Each year, the illness shifts a little bit, so a new vaccine has to be prepared that contains the most common strains for that particular year.
The first time a child younger than 9 gets a flu vaccine, theyâll need two doses at least a month apart. Kids usually get the shot in the leg or arm.
If your child has one of the following conditions, make sure they get a shot. They may be more likely to have serious problems linked to the flu:
- HIV or other conditions that weaken the immune system
- Treatment with cancer drugs or steroids, which suppress the immune system
- Long-term aspirin treatment. When give it to someone under 19 who has the flu, it makes them more likely to get Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
Rapid Response To Pandemic Flu
The rapid development, production, and distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines could potentially save millions of lives during an influenza pandemic. Due to the short time frame between identification of a pandemic strain and need for vaccination, researchers are looking at novel technologies for vaccine production that could provide better “real-time” access and be produced more affordably, thereby increasing access for people living in low- and moderate-income countries, where an influenza pandemic may likely originate, such as live attenuated technology and recombinant technologies . As of July 2009, more than seventy known clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing for pandemic influenza vaccines. In September 2009, the FDA approved four vaccines against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus , and expected the initial vaccine lots to be available within the following month.
In January 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Audenz as a vaccine for the H5N1 flu virus. Audenz is a vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of disease caused by the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine. Audenz is approved for use in persons six months of age and older at increased risk of exposure to the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine.
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Why Does My Child Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year
Flu viruses are constantly changing, so new vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu viruses that are likely to cause the most illness. Also, protection provided by flu vaccination wears off over time. Your childs flu vaccine will protect against flu all season, but they will need a vaccine again next flu season for best protection against flu.
The Flu And You: What You Need To Know About The 2022 Flu Season
The past two years have seen record-low flu case numbers due to COVID-19 border closures, social distancing, and hygiene measures. But thats set to change.
Medical experts are now warning that while the flu took a back seat in 2020 and 2021, reduced socialising has meant we have had less exposure to flu viruses resulting in reduced herd immunity. This leaves us vulnerable to new strains of the flu virus and the potential for a devastating flu season in 2022.
Brisbane-based GP, Dr Sarah Chu is concerned this flu season will see the potential for a twindemic, where a severe flu season happens alongside COVID-19 infections.
I think we are in for a flu spike in 2022 and even the possibility of twin COVID-19 and influenza infections that will place further strain on the health care system, she says.
The ideal time for over-60s to start thinking about their seasonal flu vaccine is in April before winter begins.
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Is It Ever Too Late
Flu shots are typically given in the early fall through March or April. CDC recommends getting a flu shot by the end of October. However, as long as the flu virus is making people sick in your community, it’s worth getting vaccinated against it. It won’t provide full protection immediately, but it could still prevent you from getting sick.
Benefits Of The Flu Shot
Overall, flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu and can reduce the severity of its symptoms if you do get sick. This means less missed school for kids, less missed work for parents and fewer doctors visits for both, says Dr. Johnson. Vaccination also protects people around you, especially those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, including babies and young children.
In children, flu vaccination can be lifesaving. A 2017 CDC study showed that the flu shot significantly reduces a childs risk of dying from the flua reduced risk of 51% among children with high-risk, underlying medical conditions and a reduced risk of 65% among healthy childrenCDC Study Finds Flu Vaccine Saves Lives. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 10/05/2021. . Other research shows that during the flu seasons from 2004 to 2020, flu-related deaths in children ranged from 37 to 199 deathsand about 80% of those children were not fully vaccinatedFlu & Young Children. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 10/05/2021. .
Getting the flu shot also reduces the risk of hospitalization from the flu. A 2014 study showed that the vaccine was 74% effective in preventing a child from being sent to a pediatric intensive care unit Ferdinands JM, Olsho LEW, Agan AA, et al. Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccine Against Life-threatening RT-PCR-confirmed Influenza Illness in US Children, 20102012. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2014 210:674-683. .
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How Is The Flu Vaccine Given
- Kids younger than 9 years old will get two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 1 month apart, if they’ve had fewer than two doses before July 2019. This includes kids who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time.
- Those younger than 9 who had at least two doses of flu vaccine will only need one dose.
- Kids older than 9 need only one dose of the vaccine.
Talk to your doctor about how many doses your child needs.
Why Does My Child Need A Flu Shot
Influenza can be much worse than a bad cold. Some babies and children who have influenza get so sick they cant go to childcare or preschool for two weeks or more. Every year in Australia, hundreds of children get so unwell from influenza they need to be treated in hospital. Most of them are babies and children under five years.
An influenza vaccine is the best way to protect your child from serious influenza. Influenza vaccines give better protection in some years than others. This is because the types of influenza viruses making people sick from year to year can change, and the vaccines may have to be updated.
Before the influenza season, experts gather information from around the world to work out which influenza viruses are most likely to circulate. They often get it right, but sometimes it can be hard to predict. Experts use the best information available at the time.
Influenza vaccines give your child good protection, even if they arent always perfect. By getting an influenza vaccine, your child will be less likely to get influenza, and less likely to get the serious conditions that influenza can cause, like severe lung infections or swelling in the brain .
Its safe for children with egg allergies to get influenza vaccines.3 This is because the amount of egg in influenza vaccines is tiny . Many years ago, influenza vaccines used to contain more egg protein, but the way the vaccines are manufactured is much better now.
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How The Second Flu Shot Works
The second flu shot is a booster dose to improve the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in children. The second dose is given at least 28 days after the first dose. That first dose stimulates the child’s immune system, but it may not be enough to produce the level of antibodies needed for protection from the flu.
The second dose results in the child’s immune system producing enough antibodies so they will be able to fight off influenza when exposed. If your child didn’t receive the second dose, they likely have some protection against the flu, but it may not be enough.
Why Babies Should Get The Flu Shot
Young children who catch the flu get pneumonia at higher rates than older kids and can become dehydrated more easily. They may also develop ear infections, sinus problems, and a worsening of conditions like asthma or heart disease.
Since 2010, flu-related complications have led to 7,000 to 26,000 hospitalizations per flu season in children younger than 5 years old, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention . The flu can also cause death in rare cases. Indeed, the CDC estimates that between 130 and 1,200 children have died from the flu each year since 2010.
Vaccinated babies have a decreased chance of contracting the flu. And if they do catch influenza, the flu shot can make the illness less severe, which decreases the risk of hospitalization and death.
Can I Get The Flu From The Flu Vaccine
No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu shots are made with either a killed flu virus and are therefore not infectious, or with proteins from a flu virus instead of a flu vaccine virus. Nasal spray flu vaccine is made with weakened live flu viruses, and also cannot cause flu illness.
Some people may get mild and short-lasting symptoms, such as a low-grade fever or muscle-aches, but this is a sign that your body is responding to the vaccine. It is not the flu.
How The Flu Vaccine Works
Development of the seasonal flu vaccine actually begins many months ahead of flu season. The viruses used in the vaccine are based on extensive research and surveillance into which strains will be most common during the upcoming season.
The trivalent vaccine protects against three flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus.
The quadrivalent vaccine protects against the same three viruses as the trivalent vaccine, but it also includes an additional influenza B virus.
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Who Shouldnt Get Vaccinated
If youre currently feeling sick, its best to wait until youre better.
Avoid the flu shot if you have a severe allergy to any of the ingredients that may be used in the vaccine, such as:
- egg protein
- monosodium glutamate , a stabilizer that keeps vaccines from losing their potency
- antibiotics, such as neomycin and gentamicin
- polysorbate 80, an emulsifier which keeps the ingredients from separating
- formaldehyde, which inactivates the flu virus
Babies under 6 months old shouldnt be vaccinated.
If youve had Guillain-Barré syndrome, talk to your doctor before getting the flu vaccine.
The nasal spray contains a weakened live virus. It shouldnt be taken by people who:
- are younger than 2 or older than 50 years
- are 2 to 4 years old and have asthma
- are 2 to 17 years old and take medications containing aspirin or salicylate
- are pregnant
- have life threatening allergies to the flu vaccine
- have a suppressed immune system
- are in close contact with someone with a suppressed immune system
- have taken antiviral drugs for the flu within the previous 48 hours
Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of the nasal spray vaccine if you have:
- asthma or chronic lung disease
- a blood disorder
Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Given At 2 Months 4 Months And 12 Months
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects children against invasive pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis .
What is invasive pneumococcal disease ?
IPD is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae . This type of bacteria can cause any of the following:
Pneumococcal infection is also a frequent cause of ear infections .
Pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis can sometimes cause death or long lasting complications such as deafness, especially in people with a high-risk medical condition.
Sometimes antibiotics do not work against the pneumococcal infection . Antibiotic resistance occurs when drugs, used to treat the infection, are no longer effective in killing or stopping the growth of particular microorganisms, such as pneumococcal bacteria. When there is antibiotic resistance, it is more difficult to treat the infection.
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The Flu Shot And Covid
An important update regarding timing between receiving the flu and COVID-19 vaccines for all Victorians including those most vulnerable in our community.
The original recommended timing between receipt of the 2 vaccines was a preferred minimum interval of 2 weeks .
Based on the latest medical advice the preferred minimum interval between vaccinations for COVID-19 and the flu is now 7 days.
Which Children Need Flu Immunisation
All children from 6 months of age can benefit from flu immunisation. By immunising your child , especially if they go to preschool, creche or daycare, you can protect them and your family.
Flu immunisation is especially important for children with certain long-term health conditions. This is because these children are more likely to develop complications from the flu, such as chest infections. If your child does have a long-term condition, make sure they have their flu immunisation every year before the winter starts.
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Who Shouldn’t Get A Flu Shot
The flu vaccine is not right for everyone. You should not get a flu shot if you have:
- Fever or moderate to severe illness at the time of vaccination
- History of previous severe or life-threatening allergic reaction to a flu shot
Infants under 6 months old should also not receive the flu shot. Additionally, if you have a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome after previous flu vaccinations, talk to your healthcare provider before getting a flu shot again.
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.
Can My Child Get The Flu Vaccine At The Same Time As Another Childhood Vaccine Including The Covid
Yes. It is safe to get the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time as any childhood vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Many children are behind with their childhood vaccines or boosters because of the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the vaccines at the same time can help them catch up more quickly.
For children 5 to 11 years old, it may be best to wait at least 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines. The reason for this is that if any side effects happen, doctors will know which vaccine they are related to. But only space out vaccines if you are sure that no other vaccines your child needs will be given late.
Why Should My Child Get A Flu Vaccine
- Reduces the risk of flu illness and hospitalization among children.
- Shown to be life-saving for children.
- Can make illness less severe among people who get vaccinated but still get sick with flu.
- Reduces the risk of illness, which can keep your child from missing school or childcare and you from having to miss work.
- Reduces the high risk of developing serious flu complication especially if your child is younger than 5 years, or of any age with certain chronic conditions.
- Helps prevent spreading flu to family and friends, including babies younger than 6 months who are too young to get a flu vaccine.
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Flu Isnt Just A Heavy Cold
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why its sometimes called seasonal flu. Its a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly.
Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold.
The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover within 2 to 7 days but, for some, the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.