Friday, September 15, 2023

What Does The Flu Vaccine Do

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Flu Vaccine For Frontline Health And Social Care Workers

The flu vaccine: explained

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

Where To Get The Flu Vaccine

You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:

  • your GP surgery
  • a pharmacy offering the service
  • your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
  • a hospital appointment

If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.

It’s important to go to your vaccination appointments unless you have symptoms of COVID-19.

How Serious Is The Flu

Most people who get the flu feel better after a few days to two weeks. However, the flu can be serious, and some people will develop other health issues, called complications, because of the flu. Complications can be mild, such as a sinus or ear infection, or more serious, like pneumonia.

Anyone can get sick from the flu, but some people are more likely to have complications. You are more at risk for flu and its complications if you:

  • Are age 65 or older
  • Have certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease
  • Have heart disease or have had a stroke
  • Live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility

Pregnant women and children younger than five years old are also more likely to get very sick from the flu. Learn more about people at increased risk for flu and its complications.

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How Do Vaccines Work

To understand how the flu vaccine works, you need to understand how your immune system works first. Your immune system fights disease by remembering every single disease youve ever seen in your life. Seriously. Every one of them. In response, your body makes antibodies that tell your white blood cells which infectionsneed to be destroyed. If it helps, think of antibodies as the blue ink that explodes if somebody tries to steal something now we all know who the thief is.

Your body can crank out antibodies at a moments notice for any disease youve ever come into contact with they tag the offending bacteria or virus and your white blood cells come in and the offender dies a horrible death.

Vaccines work by training your bodys immune system. There are two types of vaccines: inactivated, and live/attenuated. Inactivated vaccines are essentially the protein coat of whatever youre trying to vaccinate against. Think of it as what the bacteria or virus is wearing. Live/attenuated vaccines are viruses or bacteria that have been weakened. The vaccine isnt what the virus is wearing, its just a really weak version of the virus itself.

Can I Get The Influenza Vaccine And Covid

How Long Does It Take for the Flu Shot to Be Effective?

You can get the Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine but not on the same day. You should wait at least 7 days between receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.

You arent required to have the vaccines in any particular order. The order will likely depend on vaccine availability, so you may receive whichever vaccine you have access to first.

If youre having the Pfizer vaccine, this means you may be able to get a flu vaccination in between the 2 doses, if appropriate.

In special cases, your healthcare provider may consider shortening the time period between the different vaccines or they may suggest you receive the vaccines on the same day. This will only be considered if:

  • theres a high risk that youll be exposed to one of the diseases
  • its highly likely that the opportunity of receiving either vaccine will be missed

If this is suggested, youll be counselled about any possible adverse events from each vaccine. Youll be advised to report any adverse events.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more advice on how to schedule vaccinations.

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Flu Vaccines Do Not Match Main Circulating Flu Strain Researchers Say

– Health experts are warning about the risk of catching the flu this winter.

Its going to be a bad year for influenza, Dr. Bill Petri at University of Virginia Health.

In a preliminary study, researchers say one of the main circulating flu viruses has changed and the current vaccines against it no longer match it well.

The flu vaccines for this season are not as effective at beating a particular mutation of the virus in the strain known as H3N2.

While you can still be protected from getting sick if you get the shot, this years flu shot may not be as effective at preventing infection from this mutation because the vaccines do not seem to generate the right antibodies against the mutated version circulating.

I think were never going to get 100% match on the strain and the vaccine, but regardless, I think that given whats going on with COVID, its really important to get the influenza vaccine, Dr. Neha Vyas at Cleveland Clinic said.

Health experts say vaccinations are still vital as flu vaccines protect against four different strains of the flu and they are still likely to prevent severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths even in the years where there are mismatches.

But even preventing half of influenza saves thousands and thousands of lives every year, Petri said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu kills anywhere between 12,000 and 52,000 people a year and puts as many as 700,000 people in the hospital.

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What Protection Does A Flu Vaccine Provide If I Do Get Sick With Flu

  • Some people who get vaccinated may still get sick. However, flu vaccination has been shown in some studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized adults with flu. Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with flu was 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than someone who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.

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Why Is Rosh Hashanah The Jewish New Year

Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two High Holy Days in the Jewish religion.

When Should I Get Vaccinated

How the Flu Vaccine Is Made | NBC 4 I-Team
  • You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. Vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

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Celebrations to usher out the old year and bring forth the luck and prosperity of the new one, therefore, often include firecrackers, fireworks, and red clothes and decorations. Young people are given money in colourful red envelopes. In addition, Chinese New Year is a time to feast and to visit family members.

What Are The Side Effects Of Flu Vaccines

The flu vaccine is safe and cannot give you the flu. Most people have no problem with a flu vaccine.

The most common side effects are soreness, redness, or swelling where you were vaccinated. Some people also get a headache, fever, nausea, or muscle aches. These side effects may start shortly after getting the vaccine and can last up to two days. They typically do not get in the way of daily activities.

Even people with mild egg allergies can safely get most flu vaccines. Egg-free flu vaccines are also available. You should not get vaccinated if you have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past. Talk with your health care provider about your options for flu vaccines and side effects.

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Are There Any Side Effects

Photo credit: jspad via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Just like with any medicine you take, the flu shot does have some potential side effects.

Most of them are fairly minor like soreness around where you got the needle and some flu-like symptoms .

Although it might sound crazy, feeling a little flush actually means the vaccine is working! Those light symptoms are just your body figuring out how to deal with the virus.

More serious side effects can include allergic reactions, but they are really rare. That said, if you experience an allergic reaction, call a doctor immediately.

Allergic Reactions To The Flu Vaccine

Why I Get The Flu Vaccine Every Year

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.

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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.

Do I Need To Get The Flu Vaccine Every Year

The flu vaccine is needed every year for two reasons.

The first is that your bodys immune response to influenza decreases over time. Receiving the vaccine every year helps you have continued protection.

The second reason is that the influenza virus is constantly changing. This means that the viruses that were prevalent in the previous flu season may not be in the upcoming season.

The flu vaccine is updated every year to include protection against the influenza viruses most likely to circulate in the upcoming flu season. A seasonal flu shot is the most effective protection.

recommends that children over 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. Children under 6 months old are too young to receive the vaccine.

Flu vaccine side effects in babies are similar to those in adults. They may include:

  • low-grade fever
  • muscle aches
  • soreness at the injection site

Some children between ages 6 months and 8 years may need two doses. Ask your childs doctor how many doses your child needs.

Pregnant women should get the flu vaccine every year. Changes in your immune system during pregnancy lead to an increased risk of severe illness or hospitalization due to influenza.

Both the and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend pregnant women get the seasonal flu shot in any trimester of pregnancy.

While additional studies need to be completed to investigate this concern, both the

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How To Book Your Appointment

If you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, you can book an appointment at your GP surgery or a pharmacy that offers it on the NHS.

You may also get an invitation to get the vaccine, but you do not have to wait for this before booking an appointment.

Everyone who is eligible for the free flu vaccine will be able to get it.

GP surgeries and pharmacies get the flu vaccine in batches. If you cannot get an appointment straight away, ask if you can book an appointment for when more vaccines are available.

If you have an appointment for a COVID-19 booster vaccine at a GP surgery or pharmacy, you may also be offered a flu vaccine at the same time.

Do not delay booking your flu vaccine appointment so that you can get both vaccines together. Only some people will be offered both vaccines at the same time.

How Is The Flu Vaccine Given

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  • 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.

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Common Symptoms Of A Cold The Flu And Covid

The chart below shows common symptoms. Not everyone will have these symptoms. Your symptoms may be more or less severe, or you may only have a few. If you feel sick, stay home and call your doctor

Common Symptoms
  • Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

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
  • reducing additional burden on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, which could lead to more serious complications
  • The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.

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    Flu Vaccine Side Effects

    Flu vaccines are very safe. All adult flu vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.

    Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as:

    • slightly raised temperature
    • muscle aches
    • sore arm where the needle went in this is more likely to happen with the vaccine for people aged 65 and over

    Try these tips to help reduce the discomfort:

    • continue to move your arm regularly
    • take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen some people, including those who are pregnant, should not take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends it

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    Flu vaccination is also recommended for people sharing a house with children and young people with long-term medical conditions. The flu spreads rapidly within households and children are particularly efficient spreaders. It may not be free for household members. You could ask your employer about free or subsidised flu vaccinations, as many employers offer this to employees. Flu vaccination is free for some adults, eg, people over 65 years of age or with certain long-term conditions.

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    When Should I Use Rapid Tests

    For individuals who arent symptomatic or havent been in close contact with a confirmed positive case, rapid tests are a good screening tool, according to Dr. Miller. The caveat is that you want to perform a couple tests a few days apart because sometimes very early after exposure, theres not enough virus present for rapid tests to capture it, he says. And if you plan on using rapid tests ahead of a small gathering, Dr. Miller says its also critical to do a test the day of the event.

    Although rapid tests arent as sensitive as PCR test results, Dr. Miller says theyre still a good addition to your tool kit. People can have rapid test negative outcomes and still test PCR positive, so its not perfect. But the good thing about rapid tests is that they directly look for virus, whereas PCR tests look for fragments of the virus, which can sometimes persist in individuals long after theyre infectious.

    Who Should Get Vaccinated And When

    Everyone aged 6 months or older should get vaccinated for the flu every year, even if theyre healthy.

    The only exceptions are:

    • If you are currently sick with a fever, you should wait to get a flu shot. This does not mean you cant get the flu shot at all, but your provider may recommend you wait until your current symptoms have passed.

    • If you have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome , you should talk to your provider before getting the flu shot.

    In the U.S., flu season can start as early as September. The CDC recommends getting the flu shot at least 2 weeks before the flu starts circulating in your community preferably by the end of October. But you can get vaccinated later in the flu season too.

    It takes about 2 weeks after you get the flu shot for you to be protected against the flu. Everyone needs a new flu vaccine every year, as immunity wears off after about 6 months.

    Children whove never had a flu vaccine before need 2 doses 4 weeks apart to be fully protected.

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