Are Nasal Swabs Better Than Spit Tests
Some lab tests use a nasopharyngeal swab that is inserted deep into the nasal cavity. Home tests typically rely on a nasal swab that collects a sample with a few swishes inside both nostrils. And some tests use a collection method that requires the patient to drool or spit into a test tube. For some people it might take about five minutes to generate enough spit to fill the vial, and testing sites ask you to not eat or drink anything 30 minutes before collecting a saliva sample.
Saliva tests are slightly less accurate than nasal swabs, but the difference isnt that meaningful, said Dr. Adam Ratner, director of pediatric infectious diseases at NYU Langone Hassenfeld Childrens Hospital.
Is One Type Of Test Better Than The Other
Virus tests are categorized based on what they look for: molecular tests, which look for the viruss genetic material, and antigen tests that look for viral proteins. But comparing rapid antigen tests and lab tests is sort of like comparing an X-ray to an M.R.I. scan. Both tests are reliable, serve unique purposes and can be useful at different times. The advantage of an X-ray is that its cheap, fast and pretty good at spotting obvious problems. An M.R.I. takes much longer and costs a lot more but gives you a more precise look at whats going on in the body.
The advantage of rapid antigen tests, whether they are taken at home or at a testing center, is that they are fast, relatively cheap and are highly reliable for telling you right now if youre spreading the virus. A P.C.R. test is more sensitive and will identify an infection sooner, but it takes more time to get the result. Both tests are useful, but with a fast-spreading variant like Omicron, a rapid test can prompt someone to isolate a few days sooner, sparing others from your germs.
Common Flu Shot Side Effects
Repeat: The flu vaccine won’t give you the flu, but you can experience mild symptoms because of how the vaccine works.
“The flu vaccine is designed to stimulate your immune system to build antibodies to the virus. That stimulation can cause a low-grade fever, a decrease in appetite, loose stool, mild fatigue or myalgia and even a scant cough,” Teague says.
According to Teague, these symptoms usually resolve after a few days and are no cause for alarm. You may also experience some redness, swelling or soreness where the shot was injected, which is also normal.
The CDC says you can experience “flulike” symptoms after getting the vaccine, such as:
- Soreness, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site
- Muscle aches
The symptoms listed above should resolve in a few days. Also, keep in mind not everyone has symptoms, but those are the most common. When it comes to other symptoms, or symptoms that last longer, it’s important to keep in mind that you can still catch a cold, or other virus, right after you get the flu shot.
So if you experience other symptoms that seem like the flu, it could be another illness and it doesn’t mean the shot made you sick. The flu shot also takes about two weeks to become effective at protecting you from the flu, so you could technically catch the flu within that two-week window.
Read Also: What Does The Doctor Give For The Flu
Should I Get A Second Flu Shot This Year
It’s only natural to wonder if there’s anything else you can do so you don’t get sick.
There’s only so much protection you can get from eating the right foods, logging eight hours of sleep, and washing your hands more times than you can count getting the flu vaccine gives you your best chance at avoiding getting sick. And as long as the flu virus is circulatingwhich it isits not too late to get your shot.
Yet even if you already had your flu shot back in the fall when experts recommend getting vaccinated, you might find yourself wondering: Should I get a second flu shot? Youre not totally off base with your questionif you got yours several months ago, it’s reasonable to think its effectiveness has worn off.
Assuming youre older than 8 years old, it turns out you dont need a second flu shot this flu season. A second dose is recommended only for kids ages 6 months through 8 years who have never been vaccinated before or only had one shot in the past, explains Elizabeth Barnett, MD, professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.
Because of the immaturity of immune system, they do not respond well to a single dose of flu vaccine, she says. Though a single dose will not result in a good immune response, it primes the immune system to respond to a second dose, which then results in a good immune response.
Misconceptions About Stomach Flu
Is the stomach flu really flu?
No. Many people use the term stomach flu to describe illnesses with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms can be caused by many different viruses, bacteria or even parasites. While vomiting, diarrhea, and being nauseous or sick to your stomach can sometimes be related to flu more commonly in children than adults these problems are rarely the main symptoms of influenza. Flu is a respiratory disease and not a stomach or intestinal disease.
Don’t Miss: What Is In The Flu Shot
I Have Symptoms But Tested Negative On A Rapid Test Am I In The Clear
No. If you start to feel Covid symptoms, especially if you live in an area with high case numbers, you should assume that you have the virus, at least until youve tested negative at least twice over a few days. Early symptoms in a vaccinated person may be a sign that the body is fighting the virus, and its possible the viral load isnt yet high enough to turn a rapid test positive. Take symptoms seriously, said Dr. Mina. Our bodies are giving us an early warning signal.
If you have symptoms and your rapid home test is negative, its still a good idea to try getting a lab-based P.C.R. test, which may find the virus sooner. If that test is also negative, its unlikely you have Covid. But if you have any respiratory symptoms, you still should stay home. In addition to Covid, you can also ask to be tested for two other potentially serious viral illnesses influenza and respiratory syncytial virus which are also circulating.
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.
Also Check: Osom Rapid Flu Test Instructions
If An Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Approved For Adult Use Is Inadvertently Administered To A Child Is This Considered A Valid Dose
If an inactivated influenza formulation approved for adults is inadvertently administered to a child, this should be counted as a single valid dose for the child. However, this is considered a vaccine administration error. Healthcare personnel should take steps to determine how the error occurred and put strategies in place to prevent it from happening in the future. In addition, we encourage providers to report all vaccine administration errorseven those not associated with an adverse eventto the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System external icon. A discussion of strategies to prevent errors can be found in the Vaccine Administration chapter of Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases . Additional resources can be found on CDCs vaccine administration web page.
Flu Vaccination Is Likely To Be Free If You Answer ‘yes’ To Any Of These Questions
- Does your child have asthma and regularly use a preventer medicine ?
- Is your child aged 4 years or under and has a significant respiratory illness or been in hospital for a respiratory illness ?
- Does your child have a heart condition ?
- Does your child have cancer?
- Does your child have an ongoing chest condition, such as bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis?
- Does your child have diabetes?
- Does your child have ongoing kidney disease?
- Does your child have HIV or AIDS, an auto-immune disease or another immune deficiency?
Your child will also need to be entitled to publicly funded health services in New Zealand. You can check the Ministry of Health’s Guide to eligibility.
Read Also: Can You Take The Flu Shot Twice
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.
Which Flu Vaccine Is The Most Effective
When flu vaccines are being produced, the strains included are standardized by the FDA. Each 2021-2022 vaccine includes:
Two type B viruses
This means that no matter what vaccine you choose, youre being protected against the same strains. Flu vaccines are typically between 40% and 60% effective from year to year. But when it comes to picking the right flu vaccine for you, you have to take other factors into account.
Recommended Reading: Will My Insurance Cover Flu Shot At Cvs
Who’s Being Offered The Vaccine
The flu vaccine’s offered to all:
Most children aged 2 to 5 years and primary school pupils have already been offered flu vaccine this year. Some areas in Scotland have also completed their secondary school pupils. Where they have not completed, this activity is now paused. This may be picked up again in the New year once the Omicron risk is reassessed.
What Are The Expected Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
Common side effects following the influenza vaccination include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site as well as fever, malaise and myalgia. Symptoms usually occur within the first 24-48 hours. Cell-based influenza vaccines have a similar side-effects profile as traditional egg-based influenza vaccines. Following immunisation with adjuvanted quadrivalent formulations, side effects may occur slightly more commonly than with standard QIV formulations.
Also Check: Flu Shot Cost Without Insurance Walgreens
Can I Have The Flu Vaccine If I Have Latex Allergy
Fluad Quad, Afluria Quad and Afluria Quad Junior syringes do not have any components made using natural rubber latex.Influvac Tetra syringes do not contain any latex components. However, the manufacturer is unable to confirm that the product did not come in contact with any latex materials during the manufacturing and packaging process.If you are highly sensitive to latex and have had a severe allergic reaction to latex, tell your healthcare provider before getting the flu vaccine.
Influenza Vaccines Available In Australia
All the influenza vaccines available in Australia are either split virion or subunit vaccines. They are prepared from purified inactivated influenza virus that has been cultivated in embryonated hens eggs or propagated in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells .
All these vaccines are quadrivalent as they contain 4 influenza virus strains 2 influenza A subtypes and 2 influenza B lineages.
Standard influenza vaccines contain 15 µg of haemagglutinin per strain per dose with no adjuvant. Similarly, the available cell-based influenza vaccine contains 15 µg of haemagglutinin per strain per dose with no adjuvant.
The available adjuvanted influenza vaccine is egg-based, and contains the standard 15 µg of haemagglutinin per strain per dose, with MF59 as the adjuvant. The adjuvanted influenza vaccine is formulated to induce a greater immune response than standard influenza vaccines.
Always check annual seasonal influenza vaccine statements. Vaccines and age eligibility change from year to year.
Don’t Miss: Why Do Your Arm Hurt After A Flu Shot
Doses For Children 9 Years And Adults
People aged 9 years need 1 dose of influenza vaccine every year, regardless of whether they have ever had influenza vaccine before.
For adults aged 65 years who have already received an adjuvanted influenza vaccine in the current influenza season, an extra dose of standard influenza vaccine in the same season is not recommended.
Similarly, if they have received a standard influenza vaccine, an extra dose of adjuvanted influenza vaccine in the same season is not recommended.
Follow standard recommendations when giving any extra dose during the current or future seasons .
What Is The Effectiveness Of Covid Vaccines Against The Omicron Variant
The CDC has updated its guidance, recommending that all adults 18 and older should get a booster shot either six months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine series or two months after their initial J& J vaccine.
Tuesday, presidential health adviser Anthony Fauci said vaccinated Americans don’t need to cancel their gathering plans. “If you dont have the availability of the test and you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you should feel comfortable having a holiday meal or gathering with family members who are also vaccinated and boosted,” he said on NBC’s “Today.”
While some vaccinated people may get COVID-19 the risk of developing serious illness or dying is decreased, according to the government
You May Like: Fluzone High Dose Vs Regular Flu Shot
Flu Vaccine And Covid
The nasal spray flu vaccine does not protect your child from COVID-19.
Children aged 12 years and older can get the COVID-19 vaccineat the same time as the flu vaccine.
As a precaution, children aged 5 to 11 years should wait at least 2 weeks between getting their COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.
What To Read Watch And Listen To About Coronavirus
New Scientist Weekly features updates and analysis on the latest developments in the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees expert journalists from the magazine discuss the biggest science stories to hit the headlines each week from technology and space, to health and the environment.
The Jump is a BBC Radio 4 series exploring how viruses can cross from animals into humans to cause pandemics. The first episode examines the origins of the covid-19 pandemic.
Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour? is a BBC documentary, which investigates what the high covid-19 death rates in ethnic minority patients reveal about health inequality in the UK.
Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary about the inside story of the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against covid-19.
Race Against the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic through the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.
The New York Times is assessing the progress in development of potential drug treatments for covid-19, and ranking them for effectiveness and safety.
Humans of COVID-19 is a project highlighting the experiences of key workers on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus in the UK, through social media.
Coronavirus, Explained on Netflix is a short documentary series examining the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to fight it and ways to manage its mental health toll.
Don’t Miss: Valid Reasons To Decline Flu Vaccine
Latest On Coronavirus From New Scientist
The year of coronavirus variants: How alpha, delta and omicron brought new waves of disease across the world in 2021.
Cubas homegrown vaccines: Four months ago, hospitals in Cuba collapsed because of skyrocketing covid-19, but locally made vaccines have succeeded in bringing the outbreak under control.
Vaccine hesitancy: It is more important than ever for the UK to reach out to communities where concerns over vaccination are more common, such as pregnant women and some ethnic groups, reports Jason Arunn Murugesu.
What Is The Recommended Site For Injection When Giving Multiple Vaccines In The Same Visit
The preferred injection site for adults and children 12 months of age is the deltoid. For infants < 12 months of age the recommended injection site is the middle third of the vastus lateralis . More than 1 vaccine can be given into each site for injection ensuring a 2.5cm spacing between each vaccine. In some circumstances in children 12 months of age, the anterolateral aspect of the thigh may also be considered as an alternate site if required. For more information please refer to MVEC: Administration of injected vaccines-correct technique.
Don’t Miss: How Long Does The Flu Vaccine Protect You
What Is The Appropriate Schedule For Children
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for persons 6 months of age and older. Some children will need 2 doses of influenza vaccine in the same season. The following children will require 2 doses of influenza vaccine, administered at least 4 weeks apart, for the 20202021 season:
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have never received seasonal influenza vaccine or for whom vaccination history is unknown
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have not received at least 2 doses* of seasonal influenza vaccine before July 1, 2020
The following children will require 1 dose of influenza vaccine for the 20202021 season:
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have received at least 2 doses* of seasonal influenza vaccine before July 1, 2020
- Children 9 years of age and older
*Doses do not need to have been received during the same or consecutive influenza seasons.