Tuesday, March 21, 2023

What If You Get 2 Flu Shots

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Why Should People Get Vaccinated Against Flu

Should you still get a flu shot while we are still in the middle of the pandemic?

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and flu can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work or it can result in more serious illness. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. While some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.

Who Flu Jabs Are Free For

Yearly flu vaccinations are free for:

  • pregnant people
  • people aged 65 years and over
  • Mori and Pacific people aged 55 years and over
  • people who have a long-term medical condition like diabetes, asthma, or a heart condition
  • children 4 years old or younger who have been in hospital with respiratory illness such as asthma.

If youre eligible for a free flu shot, contact your GP or healthcare provider to make a booking.

Where Can I Learn More

More information on the inactivated influenza vaccine, including possible reactions and who should not get the vaccine, can be found in the HealthLinkBC File: Inactivated Influenza Vaccine.

For answers to frequently asked questions about influenza vaccines, visit our FAQ about influenza vaccines page.

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Who Should Have The Flu Shot

The Australian Government recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months has a flu vaccination every year.

Its difficult to predict who will catch influenza , or who will become seriously ill from it. The flu can require hospitalisation and can even be fatal.

Getting vaccinated against the flu helps protect both you and the people around you. Its particularly important to protect vulnerable people in the community who cant be vaccinated, such as babies who are younger than 6 months and adults with low immunity.

Side Effects From The Flu Vaccine

Flu Season Is Here: Where To Get Your Shot
  • Side effects are if you feel sick from your vaccine.
  • Common side effects are usually mild.
  • They tend to get better quickly without needing treatment.
  • Common side effects are mild pain and swelling at the injection site.
  • Fever is less common.
  • It is not possible for the flu vaccine to give you the flu.
  • There is no live virus in the vaccines used in Australia.
  • If you have any concerns or questions about the flu vaccine, please discuss with your GP.

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Why Do Some Kids Need Two Flu Shots

Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone. Because the influenza virus changes and mutates, these vaccines are necessary every year. Young kids are considered at “high risk” from the flu. They are more likely to become seriously ill or die if they get it than older children and adults. So it is even more important that they are vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus.

You may be surprised to learn when you take your young child for their flu vaccine, that they actually need two. Your healthcare provider should tell you if this is true for your child.

Should I Get The Flu Vaccine If I’m Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

  • Years of studies and observation show that you can safely get a flu shot at any time, during any trimester, while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Babies cannot get the vaccine until six months old. Because antibodies from the vaccine pass onto a fetus in the womb and through breast milk, you protect your baby even more by getting vaccinated.

  • Pregnant people should not get the nasal spray form of the flu vaccine. Those with a life-threatening egg allergy should not get the flu vaccine, whether pregnant or not.


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What Should We Expect From The Northern Flu Season Given What Happened In The Southern Hemisphere This Year

Robert Webster, infectious disease specialist at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee:

No one can ever predict how severe a flu season will be. But there has been some good news from southern countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Chile, where the flu season is just ending. The rates of flu there were surprisingly low. The reason is that these governments implemented such effective strategies to control the coronavirussocial distancing, hand washing, and mask-wearingthat the flu didnt get the chance to take hold. Melbourne, Australia, for example, is again under lockdown.

Since children are typically the biggest spreaders of flu, this means school closures also will help stop transmission. Dont get a false sense of confidenceeven if youre being careful and following your local health guidance. If youre a responsible human being, you still need to get a flu shot, because you could pass the disease on to a more vulnerable person who could die from it.

Can I Have Flu And Covid

It’s time to get your flu shot
  • 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.

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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.

Getting Multiple Vaccines At The Same Time Has Been Shown To Be Safe

Scientific data show that getting several vaccines at the same time does not cause any chronic health problems. A number of studies have been done to look at the effects of giving various combinations of vaccines, and when every new vaccine is licensed, it has been tested along with the vaccines already recommended for a particular aged child. The recommended vaccines have been shown to be as effective in combination as they are individually. Sometimes, certain combinations of vaccines given together can cause fever, and occasionally febrile seizures these are temporary and do not cause any lasting damage. Based on this information, both the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend getting all routine childhood vaccines on time.

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Would Two Flu Shots Protect Me Better Than One

Booster doses can make the flu vaccine more effective, but the benefit is limited to a few specific groups.

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Q. Would two flu shots protect me better than one?

A. Booster doses can make the flu vaccine more effective, but the benefit is limited to a few specific groups.

Children are one group that may benefit from receiving two doses of influenza vaccine during the same flu season. In a multistate study, boosting increased vaccine effectiveness by nearly twofold in children 6 months to 8 years of age. The benefit was greatest among infants receiving their first influenza vaccinations and was still evident in subsequent flu seasons. Other studies have yielded similar results.

Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season.

Pandemic flu, a worldwide epidemic caused by genetic variations of the influenza virus, is another situation in which booster dosing may be worthwhile, since our immune systems are not primed to mount a response to the new virus. But vaccination strategies are complex and must be guided by governmental health agencies. Simply taking two doses of the currently available vaccine will not be protective.

Why Do I Need A Flu Shot

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You need to get a vaccination annually because flu viruses change every year, so flu vaccines are updated each year to provide protection against the most recent circulating strains.

Although the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses, so you should receive both vaccines.

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Who Can Get A Free Flu Vaccine

You can get a free flu vaccine if you are:

  • aged 50 to 64 years
  • living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • in regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl

People aged 50 to 64 have been added to the free flu vaccine programme until the end of April 2022.

People with these conditions can also get a free flu vaccine:

  • chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic kidney failure
  • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system

Table Recommended Doses Of Influenza Vaccine By Age Group

Dose Number of doses needed in 1st year of influenza vaccination Number of doses needed if person received 1 or more doses of influenza vaccine in a previous season
6 months to < 9 years 0.5 mL 2 1
1 1
People of any age who have recently had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant 0.5 mL 2 in 1st year after transplant 2 in 1st year after transplant

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Can I Get Seasonal Flu Even Though I Got A Flu Vaccine This Year

Yes. Its possible to get sick with flu even if you have been vaccinated . This is possible for the following reasons:

  • You may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in you becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect you.

  • You may be exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different flu viruses that circulate every year. A flu vaccine is made to protect against the three or four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common.

  • Unfortunately, some people can become infected with a flu virus a flu vaccine is designed to protect against, despite getting vaccinated. Protection provided by flu vaccination can vary widely, based in part on health and age factors of the person getting vaccinated. In general, a flu vaccine works best among healthy younger adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination. Flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, but it is the best way to protect against flu infection.

Yes You Can Get A Flu Shot And A Covid Vaccine At The Same Time

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If youre eligible for a COVID vaccine, you can absolutely get one at the same time that you get the flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thats true whether youre getting your first or second shot of either of the mRNA vaccines , or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And its very likely to hold true if and when booster shots roll out as well although the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved them, and booster shots are not without controversy.

Theres no reason you cannot get both at once. They are not going to counteract each other in any way, Karl Minges, dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven, told HuffPost. COVID vaccines are using a very different mechanism to vaccinate an individual than the influenza shot.

In fact, Moderna recently announced it is working to develop a joint flu shot and COVID-19 booster, combining its existing COVID vaccine with an experimental flu vaccine.

The two-for-one approach is really appealing, especially if that becomes available to people who are scared of needles or dont have the time to go to a doctors office or clinic or pharmacy to get two shots, Minges said.

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Eligibility For 2022 Season Influenza Vaccines

Influenza vaccines are funded under the National Immunisation Program for the following groups due to their increased risk of complications from influenza:

  • all children from 6 months to less than 5 years of age
  • all adults aged 65 years and older
  • pregnant women
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • individuals aged 6 months and older with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications .

All other individuals not included in the categories above can purchase the vaccine from their doctor.

In 2022, all funded influenza vaccines available will be quadrivalent vaccines including the adjuvanted influenza vaccine for adults aged 65 years and older.

Only one government-funded influenza vaccine is available for eligible people each year, with the exception of eligible children up to 9 years of age receiving an influenza vaccine for the first time. These children require and are funded for 2 doses, 4 weeks apart.

Age restrictions apply to all vaccine brands .

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.

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Western Australians Can Get A Free Flu Vaccine In June

WA has done a fantastic job throughout the pandemic and now were in winter, everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated for influenza and stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

WA is facing a potentially severe flu season following two years of border closures and this initiative has been developed as an extra incentive for the WA community to protect themselves and others against the flu.

Free flu vaccines are available for a limited time only during the month of June, so dont miss out.

Why Do I Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year

Flu Shots  NECA/IBEW 145 Benefit Plans
  • 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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Influenza Immunisation Program Advice 2022

View a summary of the Queensland government’s 2022 influenza immunisation program advice which provides important information specific to Queensland including:

  • which vaccines to give for specific age groups
  • information regarding people with medical conditions who are eligible for funded influenza vaccine
  • vaccine ordering and supply details.

Where Can People Go To Safely Get The Flu Vaccine Is It Worth Taking The Risk If You’re At High Risk For Covid

The flu vaccine is widely available at clinics, pharmacies, and supermarkets, so people have several choices as to where to get it. If youre worried about standing in line with a crowd because you don’t want to be exposed to COVID-19, its worth calling your local pharmacy or health-care provider to ask about setting up an appointment. Many medical centers have been taking precautions to keep people safe, such as requiring masks and physical distancing or doing extra cleaning. Despite the myth that vaccines can make you sick, a flu vaccine wont give you the flu, even if youre immuno-compromised.

I encourage people to get their flu vaccine by the end of October. ByLisa MaragakisJohns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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