Side Effects Of The Flu Shot
Many people report avoiding the flu vaccine each year for fear that it will make them sick. Its important to understand that the flu vaccine cant cause you to develop the flu.
You arent going to become sick because you received the vaccine. Flu vaccines contain dead flu virus. These strains arent strong enough to cause an illness.
Like other shots, you may experience some side effects from the flu shot. These side effects are often mild and only last a short period of time. The side effects of a shot outweigh the possible symptoms of developing the flu later.
The most common side effects of the flu shot include:
- soreness around the injection site
- low-grade fever in the days immediately following the injection
- mild aches and stiffness
Any side effects that do occur often last only a day or two. Many people wont experience any side effects at all.
On rare occasions, some people may have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccination. If youve had an allergic reaction to any vaccine or medication before, talk with your doctor.
Who Should Be Immunised Against Influenza
Immunisation against the flu is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over.
Some people are more at risk of complications from the flu and are eligible for free vaccination.
People with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity are most at risk and should be immunised against the flu. They include:
- anyone aged 65 years and older
- pregnant women
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from 6 months and over
- people 6 months or older with:
Speak to your immunisation provider to see if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine.
Do You Need A Flu Shot If You Got A Covid Shot
The viruses that cause the flu and COVID-19 are different. Here’s what you should know.
Mercey Livingston is a health and wellness writer and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She’s written about fitness and wellness for Well+Good, Women’s Health, Business Insider, and Prevention.com among others. When not writing, she enjoys reading and trying out workout classes all over New York City.
Jessica is a Wellness News Writer who wants to help people stay informed about their health. She’s from the Midwest, studied investigative reporting at the Missouri School of Journalism and is now based in NYC.
All of the social distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing we did in 2020 paid off by way of a remarkably mild flu season last year.
Calling the flu activity for the 2020-2021 season “unusually low” despite high levels of testing for it, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported substantially fewer cases of the flu last year compared to previous years. That’s great news, because we warded off what experts feared could be a “twindemic” of coronavirus and influenza a virus that can be very serious for some people, including young children, older adults and people with certain health conditions, such as asthma and heart disease.
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So Who Should Get A Flu Shot And When
The flu vaccine offers the highest level of protection in the first three to four months months after vaccination. The season generally peaks between June and September although this year we have seen a much earlier than usual start to the flu season. Its unclear whether this early start will mean a longer flu season or an early finish. So its not too late to get vaccinated.
Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone aged six months and over, but are particularly important for people who are more at risk of complications from influenza, including:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and over
- children aged six months to five years
- pregnant women
- people aged 65 years or over
- people aged six months or over who have medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of getting serious disease.
Types Of Influenza Vaccine Available
There are two primary types of vaccine, inactivated influenza vaccine , also known as the flu shot, and live attenuated influenza vaccine , also known as the nasal-spray flu vaccine.
- The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age or older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine is made with live, weakened flu viruses and is given as a nasal spray. The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu. The nasal spray vaccine is approved for use in healthy people 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
- Note: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices continues the recommendation that LAIV4 is not recommended for some populations , and is not approved for children aged < 2 years.
A number of different manufacturers produce influenza vaccines for the U.S. market. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine which vaccine may be best for you. Flu vaccine offered for the 2021-2022 season will be quadrivalent . Some seasonal flu vaccines will be formulated to protect against three flu viruses . For many vaccine recipients, more than one type or brand of vaccine may be appropriate. Where more than one type of vaccine is appropriate and available, VDH and CDC make no preferential recommendation for use of any influenza vaccine product over another.
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Misconceptions About Flu Vaccine Effectiveness
Influenza vaccine effectiveness can vary. The protection provided by a flu vaccine varies from season to season and depends in part on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine and the similarity or match between the viruses in the vaccine and those in circulation. During years when the flu vaccine match is good, it is possible to measure substantial benefits from flu vaccination in terms of preventing flu illness and complications. However, the benefits of flu vaccination will still vary, depending on characteristics of the person being vaccinated , what influenza viruses are circulating that season and, potentially, which type of flu vaccine was used. For more information, see Vaccine Effectiveness How well does the Flu Vaccine Work. For information specific to this season, visit About the Current Flu Season.
There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications.
Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.
- Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
- A 2018 study showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit with flu by 82 percent.
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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Is It The Flu A Cold Or Covid
The common cold, flu, and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. They can all cause similar symptoms. If you have symptoms, a health care provider can determine the cause of your illness and help you take steps to feel better.
A cold is often milder than the flu. The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, but COVID-19 spreads more easily and symptoms tend to be more severe. It’s also more common to have a change in your sense of smell or taste with COVID-19.
People with the flu can have fever, chills, dry cough, general aches and pains, and a headache. They feel very tired. Sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, or stomach problems are less common. What some people call “stomach flu” is not influenza. Learn more about the differences between the flu and a cold and flu and COVID-19.
The Us Government Has A Large Stockpile Of Vaccines That Protect Against Smallpox And Monkeypoxbut Immunization Likely Won’t Be Available For Everyone
Meagan Drillinger is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, lifestyle, health, and wellness. Her work has been published by Health, Healthline, Travel + Leisure, Business Insider, Thrillist, and many more. She’s originally from New York City, but has traded a permanent address for a life on the road.
Fact checked on June 2, 2022 by Vivianna Shields, a journalist and fact-checker with experience in health and wellness publishing.
As cases of monkeypox continue to spread across the globe, people have shifted their questioning from “What is it?” to “How can I protect myself?” And as it turns out, some older people in the U.S. may still be somewhat protected from the virus due to a prior vaccination: the smallpox vaccine.
“Vaccination against smallpox also protects against monkeypox,” Hannah Newman, MPH, director of epidemiology at Lenox Hill Hospital, told Health. “People who were vaccinated against smallpox years ago may have some immunity, or at least have some protection against milder illness if infected.”
The U.S. officially stopped routine smallpox vaccination in 1972, after the disease was eradicated, but because of concern for bioterrorism, the government has a large stockpile of the smallpox vaccineenough to vaccinate all Americans who would need protection, should a future outbreak occur.
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Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine
Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated for flu. It is especially important that the people in one of the groups listed below get a flu shot every year as they are more likely to get severely ill with flu.
- Children aged 6 months through 18 years
- People 50 years of age and older
- Pregnant and postpartum women
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, neurologic and neuromuscular conditions and weakened immune systems
- People with muscle and nerve disorders that make it difficult to breath or swallow
- Children aged 6 months through 18 years on long-term aspirin therapy
- People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities
- Anyone who might transmit flu to someone at risk. For example, health care workers, including those in training, emergency response workers, direct care staff, people who live with or care for anyone on the list above, and people who live with or care for infants under 6 months of age, including parents, siblings, and daycare providers
How Contagious Is Monkeypox
Dr. Johnston tells us, “Monkeypox is considered to be less contagious than smallpox and is spread through close contact with an infected person. Close contact can be anything from touching skin or a contaminated surface, breathing in respiratory droplets in the air, or through bodily fluids. Researchers are still determining if monkeypox can be spread through asymptomatic individuals, and if it can be spread through semen, vaginal fluids, urine, or feces.”
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How Does Cdc Measure How Well Flu Vaccines Work
CDC typically presents vaccine effectiveness as a single point estimate: for example, 60%. This point estimate represents the reduction in risk provided by a flu vaccine. CDC vaccine effectiveness studies measure different outcomes. For example, outcomes measured can include laboratory-confirmed flu illness , hospitalizations or intensive care unit admissions. For these outcomes, a VE point estimate of 60% means that on average the flu vaccine reduces a persons risk of that flu outcome by 60%.
In addition to the VE point estimate, CDC also provides a confidence interval for this point estimate, for example, 60% . The confidence interval provides a lower boundary for the VE estimate as well as an upper boundary . One way to interpret a 95% confidence interval is that if CDC were to repeat this study 100 times , 95 times out of 100, the confidence interval would contain the true VE value. Another way to look at this is that there is a 95% chance that the true VE lies within the range described by the confidence interval. This means there is still the possibility that five times out of 100 the true VE value could fall outside of the 95% confidence interval.
I Heard That The Flu Vaccine Was Not Very Effective Why Should I Get It If Its Not Effective
While vaccine effectiveness can vary, studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. It is also the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Remember, if you dont get a vaccine at all, thats 0% effective.
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Who Can Have The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
- are 50 and over
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- frontline health or social care workers
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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Why Is It Important To Get A Flu Shot During The Covid
For the upcoming flu season, flu vaccination will be very important to reduce flu because it can help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the population and lessen the resulting burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A flu vaccine may also provide several individual health benefits, including keeping you from getting sick with flu, reducing the severity of your illness if you do get flu and reducing your risk of a flu-associated hospitalization.
CKD causes a decreased immune response, increasing your vulnerability to infections. You face a greater risk of getting certain diseases and developing severe complications. Also, patients with CKD have a higher risk of death from the flu.
If you have CKD, are on dialysis or have received a kidney transplant, ask your healthcare professional about getting the flu shot.
Where To Get Vaccinated
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies, and college/university health centers. Even if you dont have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, such as at a health department or pharmacy. Individuals who lack health insurance should contact their local health department to inquire about flu vaccination clinics.
Visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate where you can get a flu shot.
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Good News: Ema Considers Roll Out Of Covid
The pharmaceutical giant Merk has announced that an antiviral pill it is developing can cut hospitalisations and deaths among people with COVID-19 by half.
The results of the study are yet to be peer reviewed but if they stand up to scrutiny, this will be the first oral antiviral pill that can be used in the treatment of those with COVID all others have to be given by intravenous injection. This means it could potentially be used to treat infected people at home without the need for hospitalisation, thus playing a crucial role in preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed, as well as providing hope to developing countries where hospital capacity is limited.
The active drug in the pill is molnupiravir and it was so effective in a phase three trial involving COVID-19-positive people at risk of severe illness that clinicians ended the trial early.
Molnupiravir started its life as a possible treatment for the Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and was being developed at Emory University in Atlanta. But when the pandemic hit, it began being tested in animals infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes COVID-19. In these animal trials, it appeared to halt not only viral replication but also viral-onward transmission.
It is understood that the European Medicines Agency is reviewing the data around the drug and any safety concerns before making a decision in the coming days as to whether or not to roll it out more widely.