Tuesday, March 28, 2023

What Do You Need To Get A Flu Shot

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Is The Flu Dangerous

Yes, you do need to get a flu shot this year

The symptoms of the flu could range from mild to severe. If you get the flu, you may experience a sudden fever, cough, aches, and fatigue. People who are 65 years or older, those with certain health conditions , pregnant women, and young children are considered high risk and are especially vulnerable to the flu and its complications. Every year, thousands of people die in the United States due to the flu, and even more are hospitalized. Minority populations have higher rates of flu-related hospitalizations. Non-Hispanic Black people have the highest rates of flu-related hospitalizations, followed by American Indian and Alaska Native populations and Hispanic and Latino populations. Minority populations also have lower rates of flu vaccination. Flu vaccination rates for the 2019-2020 season were estimated to be 38% for Hispanic adults and 41% for non-Hispanic Black adults, compared to 53% for non-Hispanic White adults.

Can A Flu Vaccine Give Me Flu

  • No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been killed and are therefore not infectious, or b) with proteins from a flu vaccine virus instead of flu vaccine viruses . Nasal spray vaccine is made with attenuated live flu viruses, and also cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.

How Effective Is The Seasonal Flu Shot

Influenza vaccine effectiveness can vary. The protection provided by a flu vaccine varies from season to season and depends in part on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine and the similarity or match between the viruses in the vaccine and those in circulation. During years when the flu vaccine match is good, it is possible to measure substantial benefits from flu vaccination in terms of preventing flu illness and complications. However, the benefits of flu vaccination will still vary, depending on characteristics of the person being vaccinated , what influenza viruses are circulating that season and, potentially, which type of flu vaccine was used. For more information, see Vaccine Effectiveness How well does the Flu Vaccine Work. For information specific to this season, visit About the Current Flu Season.

*References for the studies listed above can be found at Publications on Influenza Vaccine Benefits. Also, see the A Strong Defense Against Flu: Get Vaccinatedpdf icon! fact sheet.

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Health Conditions Or Weak Immune System

Patients who have a severe chronic illness or an impaired immune system are generally advised to get vaccinated. A chronic illness or a weak immune system increases the risk of becoming very sick from community-acquired flu viruses.

Certain medications or chronic illnesses may make you immunocompromised. For instance, you might be immunocompromised if you are taking medication to treat cancer or immunosuppressant drugs for a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, or if you have an immune system disorder, such as HIV/AIDS.

Chronic illnesses that can make you susceptible to severe illness from the flu include diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, asthma, and neurological conditions.

Inactivated forms of the flu shot are recommended for people with chronic illnesses or weak immune systems. Make sure to speak with your doctor to determine if you should avoid the nasal spray flu vaccine.

Can I Have The Flu Vaccine If I Take Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

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Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a type of medicine used to treat some cancers, including metastatic melanoma, renal clear cell carcinoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, non-small celllung cancer and other solid organ tumours. Checkpoint inhibitors include ipilimumab, nivolumab and pembrolizumab.

People taking checkpoint inhibitors may have a higher risk of immune-related side effects following influenza vaccination. Talk to your oncologist about the risks and benefits of the flu shot.

For more information on the flu vaccine, go to the Department of Health website or call the National Immunisation Hotline on 1800 671 811.

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Can A Flu Shot Protect Against Covid

The short answer is no. Neither a flu shot nor a flu medication, such as Tamiflu®, can protect against or lessen the symptoms of COVID-19. These options can only protect you from, or lessen the severity of, the flu.

If youre already sick with influenza, or have been exposed to the influenza virus, you should act quickly. An antiviral medication like Tamiflu can prevent you from getting sick, but it needs to be taken within 48 hours of onset to be most effective.

For the best way to protect yourself against the double threat of flu season 2020, consult your SignatureMD-affiliated doctor. Your concierge doctor can use her or his in-depth knowledge of your personal health history to help you make the most informed healthcare choices for your needsideally protecting you throughout both flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic.

If youre already experiencing signs or symptoms of what could be either the flu or COVID-19, ask your doctor about the appropriate next steps. Meanwhile, its best to self-isolate. Staying away from others will help prevent the spread of either virus in the community.

Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have An Egg Allergy

The influenza vaccine is typically grown in eggs. But the traces of egg protein that remain after the vaccine is made are so tiny that the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy says both adults and children with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated against the flu. The risk of anaphylaxis after vaccination is very low, estimated at 1.35 cases per 1 million doses.

It is rare for people with egg allergy to experience other side effects, such as hives, wheezing, vomiting or abdominal pain, after getting the flu shot. If you are concerned, ask your doctor if you, or your child, can be observed by staff for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine .

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When To Get The Influenza Vaccine

New season influenza vaccines under the NIP are expected to be available from April. Timing may be different for your local area. Check with your immunisation provider to find out when they will have the vaccine available and when you will be able to book in to have the vaccine.

Annual influenza vaccine should occur anytime from April onwards to be protected for the peak flu season, which is generally June to September. The highest level of protection occurs in the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination.

However, it is never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate in the community all year round.

Pregnant women should receive the vaccine at any stage during pregnancy.

Influenza vaccines can be given on the same day with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Can Severe Problems Occur

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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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Does The Flu Vaccine Interfere With The Covid

No, says both Rivard and Dr. Rehm. In fact, if you havent received a COVID-19 vaccination yet or are receiving a third dose, you can receive it at the same time as your flu vaccine.

All available COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as the flu vaccine, says Rivard. If someone is coming in for their flu shot and theyre eligible for COVID-19 vaccine but havent received it yet, we can offer that.

If youre receiving one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines , which require two doses, you can receive the flu vaccine alongside either the first or second dose. Both the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend co-administering almost any two vaccines together, Rivard adds.

She adds that there are very few instances in which certain vaccines cant be administered at the same time, noting that children often receive multiple vaccines during one visit to a pediatrician.

And theres no concern about overloading our immune systems with multiple vaccines, notes Dr. Rehm. Were exposed to things that stimulate our immune system all the time, she says. Our immune system is constantly responding to various exposures even if you dont realize it.

Why Do I Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year

  • A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, a persons immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

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Rare Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine

There is a very small risk of a serious allergic reaction to any vaccine. This is why you are advised to stay at the clinic or medical surgery for at least 15 minutes following vaccination in case further treatment is required.

Apart from anaphylaxis, other extremely rare side effects include in children.

A small increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome was seen in the US in 1976, but since that time, surveillance has shown that it is limited to one case for every million doses of influenza vaccine, if at all.

If any other reactions are severe and persistent, or if you are worried, contact your doctor for further information.

Where Can I Get A Flu Shot

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There are more places than ever to get your flu vaccination. Doctorsâ offices, clinics, and health departments offer the flu shot but you may need to make an appointment in advance. Pharmacies have become an easy and convenient option to get your flu shot. At Walgreens, we offer flu shots whenever a pharmacist is on duty. Walk-ins are welcome, but if you’d prefer, you can make an appointment online. Find a location near you to ask about vaccine availability or schedule an appointment online.

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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:

People Who Need More Than One Flu Vaccine A Year

There are some people who are recommended to have a second dose of the influenza vaccine within the space of one year.

These include:

  • Children less than 9 years receiving their influenza vaccine for the first time require 2 doses 4 weeks apart for an adequate immune response.
  • People who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant and are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time after 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 were vaccinated with the previous seasons vaccine prior to or earlier in pregnancy.
  • Overseas travellers, who may benefit from a second dose of this seasons influenza vaccine if going to the northern hemisphere winter and receiving the northern hemisphere formulation there is not feasible.

Please check with your GP to find out whether you fall into one of these categories.

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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.

So Do Dogs Need A Flu Shot

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As recommended, discussion with your veterinarian regarding vaccination for influenza is warranted, especially in the previously mentioned higher risk groups. Also, owners of boarding and daycare facilities may require vaccination of dogs frequenting their establishments due to the high amount of effort required to properly sanitize and quarantine as well as the possible high economic loss. In general, dogs that participate in events and social activities should be fully vaccinated for core vaccines as well as Bordetella and canine influenza.

Just like humans, its best to get your dog a flu shot each year. To be fully vaccinated against influenza, dogs should receive two initial sets of vaccinations followed by a yearly booster.

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Can I Have Flu And Covid

  • Yes. It is possible to have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be.

  • Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.

If I Get The Flu Can I Still Get Covid

As of now, theres no scientific evidence to support that experiencing one virus provides any protection against the other. This means your ability to fend off the flu wont necessarily help you fight off the coronavirus.

Nor do we yet understand the consequences of being exposed to COVID-19 after your lungs have been damaged by the flu or another recent infection. For now, its best to play it safe and do what you can to protect yourself.

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What Do Seniors Need To Know About The Flu Vaccine

Compared to younger adults, people who are 65 years and older have a greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. It has been estimated that in recent years seniors have accounted for 50-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations and 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths. In addition, seniors typically develop weaker immune responses to the flu vaccine. That’s why there are special flu vaccines specifically designed for seniors: the high-dose flu vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine.

Compared to a regular flu shot, the high-dose vaccine has four times the amount of antigen, which is part of the vaccine that triggers the immune response. The adjuvanted flu vaccine contains an extra substance called an adjuvant that helps the vaccine work better by giving you a stronger immune response. Both the high-dose vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine have demonstrated stronger immune responses in persons 65 years and older as compared to those who received the standard flu shot. Note that older adults can get any flu vaccine approved for use in their age group, including standard-dose flu vaccine.

Is It True That The Flu Vaccine Can Cause Febrile Seizures In Young Children

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A is a convulsion in a child with a fever . They can occur in up to 1 in 20 children aged between 6 months and 6 years old. Febrile seizures usually last around 1 to 2 minutes with loss of consciousness, but nearly all children will recover quickly, regardless of the cause.

Influenza itself can cause fever and results in more febrile seizures than vaccination. In one study, more than 1 in 20 children hospitalised with the flu in Australia had a febrile seizure. In comparison, only 1 in 20,000 children will have a febrile seizure related to fever following a flu shot.

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Why We Need New Flu Vaccines Every Year

There are several reasons a new flu vaccine must be made each year.

Flu viruses can change from year to year, so the vaccine is updated to protect against new virus strains that are expected to circulate in the U.S. The vaccine needs to include influenza virus strains that most closely match those in circulation for the influenza season. In addition, the protection provided by the flu vaccine a person received in the previous year will diminish over time and may be too low to prevent influenza disease into next years flu season.

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