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
When The Flu Vaccine Starts Working
Once you receive your flu shot, it takes 2 weeks for your body to develop antibodies that provide protection.
Its important to remember that during this period, youre still vulnerable to becoming ill with the flu.
During that time, you should be extra careful to:
- practice good hygiene
- avoid touching your nose or mouth whenever possible
- avoid crowds if flu is circulating in your community
These precautions are exponentially more important while COVID-19 is still a factor. You can develop the flu along with other respiratory infections, so protecting yourself and others is important.
Can I Have The Flu Vaccine If I Take Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
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 cell lung 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.
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How Does The Flu Shot Protect You
The flu shot prompts your immune system to produce antibodies against a specific strain of the flu. If youre exposed to this particular flu virus later, youll already have antibodies ready to fight off the virus.
It usually takes about 2 weeks to build up your immunity to a flu virus after youve been vaccinated against it.
Youll have the most antibodies 1 to 2 months later. After this time, your protection begins to decline. Thats why you need a flu shot every year.
Each years vaccine is based on which strains are most likely to spread during that flu season.
The vaccine wont protect you from every strain. But if you do get sick, itll likely be less severe due to the vaccine.
The 2020-21 flu season may be complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The overlap of these two viral illnesses threatens to overburden hospitals, which typically get an influx of patients who have complications from the seasonal flu.
Getting your flu shot can help lower your risk of flu complications that could put you in the hospital.
Most people have little to no reaction following the vaccine. Theres no live virus in the flu shot, so it cant give you the flu.
Some people have a temporary reaction at the injection site, such as:
Normally, you can get a flu vaccine at your doctors office, your local pharmacy, or even at a walk-in retail clinic.
Some employers even provide flu shots for their employees at their workplace.
- Contact your
Do Children Adults Pregnant Women And The Elderly Need A Different Vaccine
Generally, children, adults and pregnant women get the same vaccine to protect them against the flu. However, if your child is under 9 years old and has not been vaccinated before, they will need to get 2 doses of the vaccine, at least 4 weeks apart, in their first year.
Two enhanced flu vaccines are available for older people in 2022. Fluad Quad is available for people aged 65 and older. Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is available for people aged 60 and older.
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What’s In The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine contains small amounts of weakened flu viruses. They do not cause flu in children.
As the main flu viruses can change each year, a new nasal spray vaccine has to be given each year.
The brand of nasal spray flu vaccine available in the UK is called Fluenz Tetra.
The nasal spray vaccine contains small traces of pork gelatine. If this is not suitable, speak to your child’s nurse or doctor about your options. Your child may be able to have an injected vaccine instead.
You can find a full list of ingredients in the Fluenz Tetra nasal spray patient information leaflet on the emc website.
Factors In Flu Shot Effectiveness
Influenza viruses are constantly changing and evolving rapidly. Circulating influenza viruses can mutate from one season to the next.
Researchers need to select the specific influenza viruses to include in the vaccine many months before flu season begins. This means whats in the vaccine may not always match whats actually circulating during flu season. This can decrease the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine.
Age can also play a role in vaccine efficacy because your immune system tends to become weaker as you age. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a high-dose flu vaccine for people 65 and older.
The higher dose is aimed at providing a better immune response and therefore better protection within this age group. for those over 65 with the high-dose vaccine.
The CDC also recommends that some children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years receive two doses of the influenza vaccine during the first season in which theyre vaccinated in order to have sufficient protection.
Its still possible to get the flu after being vaccinated, but research has shown that the illness may be less severe and that people who receive a flu shot may be less likely to be admitted to the hospital if they get the flu.
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What To Know About B And A Strains
The fact that B strains are predominating this year isnt just confusing, its concerning as well.
B strains havent hit this hard for nearly 30 years, since during the 19921993 season, the CDC told Healthline.
Additionally, we didnt see much of the B strain in the past couple of years, according to Dr. Norman Moore, the director of infectious diseases for Abbott.
This means that many people especially kids have never been exposed to the strain, and consequently, dont have residual immunity against it.
When theres a rarity, it actually sets you up for another bigger push to get it, because at that point, we really dont have anybody with any strong immunity going around, so were all potential vessels for getting exposed and transmitting it, Moore said.
This is one of the reasons kids are being hit harder this year. Theyve never been exposed to this type of the flu its their first go-around.
These kids are just brand new to getting flu B, Moore said.
And because we havent seen much of the B/Victoria strain in the past few years, this years vaccine missed the mark.
We thought initially the match was perfect, but its not. Its off a little bit, and that means in many populations the vaccine is not going to function optimally, Schaffner explained.
Fortunately, the vaccine covers H1N1 well. According to Schaffner, the match to H1N1 is right on.
Our past experience with influenza viruses does give us some residual protection that lasts, Schaffner said.
Can You Get The Flu Twice In One Season
Youre probably pretty interested in avoiding the flu, unless you dream of being cooped up with symptoms like a fever, chills, a hacking cough, a runny nose, muscle aches, and possibly vomiting and diarrhea. For your best chance of staying flu-free, get your flu shot. You can also opt for the nasal spray vaccine if thats more your style and you meet certain qualifications, like not having asthma or being pregnant .
Lets say you happen to get the flu before you can get vaccinated, though. You might figure its pointless to go get vaccinated at this pointyou already got the flu! Reader, its not pointless. Because if theres anything worse than getting the flu, its getting it twice in one season.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The keyword here is viruses.
The exact timing of flu season varies, but flu activity usually starts to increase in October, peaks between December and February, and peters out by May, the CDC says. Translation: Theres plenty of time for you to come down with the flu, get better, then get a different strain and get sick again or pass the virus along. Thats where the vaccine comes in.
Is going all in on flu prevention fun? No. But protecting yourselfand those around youis worth it.
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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.
Why Do We Need The Flu Vaccine Every Year
Children need one dose of the vaccine every year. The exception is children who are in a clinical risk group, have not had a flu vaccine before and are under 9 years of age. These children need two doses of vaccine at least 4 weeks apart. Bristol Children’s Vaccine Centre has a short video showing how the nasal flu vaccine is given.
Flu vaccines have an excellent safety record. They are the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths each year among at-risk groups. It is important to have a flu vaccine every year because the flu virus is very variable and changes over time. Each year there are different strains around, and a new vaccine has to be prepared to deal with them. Vaccination from previous years is not likely to protect people against current strains of flu.
Each years flu vaccine is made to give the best protection against the strains of flu that are expected to circulate in the coming season. The inactivated trivalent vaccine protects against three of the flu virus strains and the inactivated quadrivalent vaccine protects against four of the flu strains which are most likely to be around. The nasal flu vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four flu virus strains.
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Two Vaccines One Visit
If youre planning to get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot sometime soon and the thought of going to the pharmacy twice sounds like an inconvenience, you wont actually have to make two trips: You can get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When people get two vaccinations at the same time, they usually get one vaccination in each arm, says internal medicine specialist Laura Dutu, M.D.Because the typical side effects that people experience from both vaccines are similar, people should expect their side effects to resemble what they have had after previous flu or COVID-19 vaccines. They should not be more intense for most people.
Is Flu Illness Serious
Millions of children get sick with flu each year and thousands are hospitalized. CDC estimates that since 2010, between 7,000 and 28,000 children younger than 5 years old have been hospitalized for flu each year in the United States. Children with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and disorders of the brain or nervous system, and children younger than 5 years old are more likely to end up in the hospital from flu.
Some people at high risk can develop complications that can result in hospitalization and even death.
Flu seasons vary in how serious they are from one season to another. Since 2010, CDC estimates that between 130 and 1,200 children have died from flu each year.
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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.
Misconceptions About Physician Consent For Vaccination
Do pregnant people or people with pre-existing medical conditions need special permission or written consent from their doctor to get a flu vaccine?
No. There is no recommendation for pregnant people or people with pre-existing medical conditions to seek special permission or secure written consent from their doctor for vaccination if they get vaccinated at a worksite clinic, pharmacy or other location outside of their physicians office. With rare exception, CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older, including pregnant people and people with medical conditions.
A variety of flu vaccines are available . Vaccine providers should be aware of the approved age indications of the vaccine they are using and of any contraindications or precautions. Providers also should appropriately screen all people getting vaccinated for allergies to vaccine components or other contraindications. People who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine or any of its ingredients should generally not be vaccinated.
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first speaking with their doctor. These include:
Pregnant people or people with pre-existing medical conditions who get vaccinated should get a flu shot.
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Who Should Have The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
- all primary school children
- all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
- children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and has a long-term health condition that makes them at higher risk from flu, they’ll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.
This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years.
The nasal spray vaccine offers the best protection for children aged 2 to 17 years. They will be offered the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.
Some children will be offered the injected flu vaccine if they have:
- a severely weakened immune system
- asthma that’s being treated with steroid tablets or that has needed intensive care in hospital
- a flare-up of asthma symptoms and need to use a reliever inhaler more than usual
- had an allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past
- a condition that needs salicylate treatment
If you’re not sure, check with the school immunisation team, the nurse or GP at your surgery, or a hospital specialist.
The injected flu vaccine is given as a single injection into the muscle of the upper arm, or the thigh for children under 1 year.
We Dont Know Which Subtypes Will Circulate In Australia
Data about flu vaccine effectiveness in the southern hemisphere 2022 winter isnt yet available, and its unclear how protective the current vaccine is against the currently circulating disease-causing subtypes.
While H3N2 viruses appears to be driving some disease now, other flu viruses may become more prevalent later in the season.
The flu vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine, so in addition to influenza A H3N2, it will protect against another influenza A subtype and two distinct lineages of influenza B virus. These viruses dont change as rapidly as H3N2, so its more likely the vaccine will give better protection against these other influenza viruses.
Even if vaccine protection against H3N2 is lower than usual this year, the vaccine could make the difference between recovering at home versus ending up in hospital.
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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.