The Nasal Spray Option
People who absolutely cant stand needles may be able to seek out a flu vaccine that can be administered via a nasal spray, notes the CDC. Sold under the brand name FluMist, this form is approved for healthy nonpregnant individuals, 2 through 49 years old.
The nasal vaccine is actually a little bit different from all the other vaccines in that other flu vaccines are inactivated they contain dead parts of the virus, whereas the intranasal one is a live attenuated vaccine, which means that it contains live virus that has kind of been weakened, so that the body can mount an immune response to that, says Philbrick.
She explains that the body simply will not mount an immune response to an inactivated vaccine that is administered intranasally.
Conway points out that the nasal vaccine was restricted for use in those under age 2 because they experienced some side effects such as wheezing.
As far as the restriction for those 50 and older, a spokesperson for FluMists manufacturer, AstraZeneca, says that Based on the clinical studies conducted and submitted for FDA review and approval, the effectiveness of FluMist Quadrivalent has not been established in people aged 50 and older.
Philbrick recommends the traditional flu shot as the method of choice, but if you absolutely cant do needles and otherwise would not get the flu vaccine, the nasal spray would be an appropriate alternative.
Who Should Get A Flu Shot
Everyone over six months old should receive an annual flu vaccination. There are some exceptions can include:
- Children younger than six months old
- Those with allergies to ingredients of the flu shot
- Individuals with egg allergies
- People who have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome
If you fall under these categories, be sure to speak with a health specialist about your vaccination options.
When Is The Flu Vaccine Given
It is possible to come into contact with flu viruses all year round, but the chance of the flu virus circulating in the community is highest during winter. For most people, the best time to be vaccinated against the flu is just before the start of the winter season. In Aotearoa New Zealand, this is between April and June. It takes around 2 weeks after vaccination for the vaccine to be fully effective. You may still get the flu in this time if you come into contact with the virus, so get vaccinated in time for winter.
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What You Need To Know About The 2021
While no one knows for sure just how bad the upcoming flu season will be, heres some flu information we know so far:
The 2020-2021 flu season wasunusually mildcompared to whats been seen in past years. This could be due to multiple factors, including higher flu vaccination rates during 2020 and the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on social distancing and hand washing. Experts are not sure if this will be the case again for the 2021-2022 flu season.
Flu transmission rates in other countries are lower than usual so far this year. The World Health Organization meets twice a year in February and September to review flu activity around the world and recommend which strains to include in the flu vaccine. Flu transmission in the Southern Hemisphere countries like Australia can help predict what the U.S. flu season might be like. Australia had a record low number of cases of the flu during 2021. Hopefully, that means we will too.
Even though the flu vaccine doesnt protect against all strains of the flu, its still recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. The flu vaccine is typically about 40% to 60% effective, and its hard to predict if the current flu vaccines will be a good match for the strains going around. But its still one of the best ways to help prevent getting sick with the flu.
Egg Versus Cell Culture
Egg-based vaccine production, although time tested, is a resource- and time-intensive process that is critically dependent on a continuous supply of eggs and the ability of viruses to grow on this substrate. The risk of contamination by avian pathogens in the egg supply or microbial contaminants during processing has previously jeopardized vaccine supplies . Furthermore, egg supply could be limited in the event of a pandemic, and egg-based vaccines may still pose a theoretical risk of anaphylactic responses in egg-allergic individuals. The ACIP recommends that TIVs be used under medical supervision for individuals with a severe allergy to egg proteins .
The future of cell culture platforms for influenza vaccines relies heavily on reproducibly providing vaccine yields at an acceptable cost without this, the commercial incentives to switch production systems are minimal.
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Ii4 Efficacy Effectiveness And Immunogenicity
Efficacy and effectiveness
Influenza vaccine has been shown in randomized controlled clinical trials to be efficacious in providing protection against influenza infection and illness. However, the effectiveness of the vaccine-that is, how it performs in settings that are more reflective of usual health care practice-can vary from season to season and by influenza vaccine strain type and subtype. Influenza vaccine effectiveness depends on how well the vaccine strains match with circulating influenza viruses, the type and subtype, as well as the health and age of the individual receiving the vaccine. Even when there is a less-than-ideal match or lower effectiveness against one strain, the possibility of lower VE should not preclude vaccination, particularly for people at high risk of influenza-related complications and hospitalization, since vaccinated individuals are still more likely to be protected compared to those who are unvaccinated.
Antibody response after vaccination depends on several factors, including the age of the recipient, prior and subsequent exposure to antigens, and the presence of immune compromising conditions. Protective levels of humoral antibodies, which correlate with protection against influenza infection, are generally achieved by 2 weeks after vaccination however, there may be some protection afforded before that time.
Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
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Iv2 Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine
LAIV contains standardized quantities of FFU of live attenuated influenza virus reassortants. The virus strains in LAIV are cold-adapted and temperature sensitive, so they replicate in the nasal mucosa rather than the lower respiratory tract, and they are attenuated, so they do not produce ILI. There have been no reported or documented cases, and no theoretical or scientific basis to suggest transmission of vaccine virus would occur to the individual administering LAIV. As a live replicating whole virus formulation administered intranasally, it elicits mucosal immunity, which may more closely mimic natural infection.
Vaccine currently authorized for use:
- FluMist® Quadrivalent
Efficacy and effectiveness
After careful review of the available Canadian and international LAIV VE data over many influenza seasons, NACI concluded that the current evidence is consistent with LAIV providing comparable protection against influenza to that afforded by IIV and does not support a recommendation for the preferential use of LAIV in children 2-17 years of age.
Refer to the Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2018-2019 for detailed information supporting this recommendation.
LAIV4 has shown non-inferiority based on immunogenicity compared to LAIV3 in both children and adults. The immune response to the B strain found only in the quadrivalent formulation was better in children who received the quadrivalent vaccine Footnote 158, Footnote 159, Footnote 160.
How Do Flu Vaccines Work
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with circulating influenza viruses.
Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. All flu vaccines in the United States are quadrivalent vaccines, which means they protect against four different flu viruses: an influenza A virus, an influenza A virus, and two influenza B viruses.
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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.
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 several 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 flu patients.
- Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with flu was 59% less likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit 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.
In addition, its important to remember that flu vaccine protects against three or four different viruses and multiple viruses usually circulate during any one season. For these reasons, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older even if vaccine effectiveness against one or more viruses is reduced.
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Is The Flu Dangerous
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.
Is It Safe To Get Vaccinated At A Drug Store
Drug stores are an excellent place to be vaccinated, Schaffner says.
Today, pharmacists are well-trained in vaccines and their indications, as well as safety protocols and inoculation technique, he explains.
In the era of COVID-19, pharmacies are also taking extra safety precautions: People coming in to be vaccinated are required to answer COVID-19 screening questions, wear masks, and maintain physical distancing at immunization sites, while pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurse practitioners administering vaccines must wear masks and gloves.
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What Is The Significance Of Fda Approving Cell
Growing flu viruses in eggs can introduce changes that can cause differences between the viruses in the vaccine and the ones that are circulating. These changes may have important implications for the bodys immune response to vaccination. For example, egg-adapted changes could cause the bodys immune system to produce antibodies that are less effective at preventing disease caused by the specific flu viruses in circulation. FDAs approval of cell-based CVVs for use in cell-based flu vaccines could possibly improve the effectiveness of cell-based flu vaccines.
Can I Get More Than One Vaccine During The Same Visit
If you need more than one vaccine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you should get them all in one visit, or space them out.
Its very common to bundle immunizations for children, and there are many cases where adults may get two vaccines at the same time.
The agency has also given the green light for people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster shot , and the flu shot during the same visit.
In fact, the CDC says that the COVID-19 vaccine can be given without regard to the timing of any other vaccine.
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Find Out Exactly Whats In The Flu Shot For 2021
Theres been a lot of talk about vaccines and vaccine ingredients lately thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine. And now that flu season upon us, its only natural to wonder about whats in your flu vaccine, too.
Like the COVID-19 vaccines, there are several types of seasonal flu vaccines. Some are egg-based, for example, while others are egg-free. There are also differences between the flu shot and nasal mist, and small nuances with high-dose flu vaccines and regular vaccines. For this flu season, the Food and Drug Administration has released nine different lots of the flu vaccine, and each is slightly different with its own ingredients. Still, they have a lot in common.
The flu vaccines are very similar in their general composition, says infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. However, some use different technologies.
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Can Kids Get Vaccinated At A Pharmacy
Yes, kids can now get many of their shots at pharmacies and drug stores in all 50 states.
Thanks to a 2020 ruling by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , all pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians in the United States can administer the flu, as well as many other vaccines, to anyone age 3 and up.
Minimum ages for vaccines, however, are regulated by state law, so the cutoff for certain vaccines may be higher than age 3 at pharmacies in your area.
Pharmacies can also give the COVID-19 shot to children, but currently only those age 12 and up are eligible.
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Vaccine Supply And Distribution
How much influenza vaccine is projected to be available for the 2021-2022 influenza season?
Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so supply depends on manufacturers. Vaccine manufacturers have projected that they will supply the United States with as many as 188 million to 200 million doses of influenza vaccine for the 2021-2022 season. These projections may change as the season progresses. All flu vaccines for the 2021-2022 season will be quadrivalent . Most will be thimerosal-free or thimerosal-reduced vaccine and about 18% of flu vaccines will be egg-free.
Where can I find information about vaccine supply?
Special Consideration Regarding Egg Allergy
People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine that is otherwise appropriate. People who have a history of severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Two completely egg-free flu vaccine options are available: quadrivalent recombinant vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based vaccine.
Why Was Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine Developed
For many years, flu vaccines were designed to protect against three different flu viruses: an influenza A virus, an influenza A virus and one influenza B virus, even though there are two different lineages of B viruses that circulate during most seasons. Adding a B virus from the second lineage was done to give broader protection against circulating flu viruses.
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Southern Hemisphere Influenza Season
The composition of virus vaccines for use in the 2018 Southern Hemisphere influenza season recommended by the World Health Organization on September 28, 2017, was:
- an A/Michigan/45/2015 pdm09-like virus
- an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 -like virus
- a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
The WHO recommended that quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses should contain the above three viruses and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
What Is Influenza
Influenza is a respiratory illness commonly known as the flu. Typical flu symptoms include fever, cough, muscle aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, sore throat and fatigue.
While most people recover from the flu in about a week, sometimes the flu can lead to other serious health problems like bronchitis or pneumonia, or make a persons existing health problems worse. Complications from the flu can be deadly: on average the flu causes an estimated 3,500 deaths in Australia each year.
Influenza is caused by a virus, which is a tiny infectious germ that hosts itself on another living organisms cells. Influenza viruses are classified into different types and sub-types. Influenza A and B are responsible for the majority of illness in humans.
Different strains dominate each year. Some strains may be more severe in certain age groups. For example the dominant strain in 2017 was H3N2 and this had a greater impact on older age groups.
Influenza viruses can evolve and mutate allowing new strains to emerge to which people may not be immune.
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