Is The Flu Vaccine Safe
Yes. Flu vaccines have been used for over 50 years and have been safely given to hundreds of millions of people, including pregnant people. Flu vaccines, like all vaccines used in the U.S., are carefully monitored for safety through the U.S. vaccine monitoring systems .
Find answers to more questions about vaccine safety.
Q: How Does The Flu And Covid
A. The flu is caused by influenza viruses and COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus . Both the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory illness with some similar symptoms, but they do not share all symptoms. In both cases, children can experience only some of the symptoms associated with each illness. In general, the flu can be more severe than COVID-19 in children. It can be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone and testing may sometimes be needed to confirm a diagnosis. The CDC keeps on the difference between these virus. It is possible that the flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this upcoming flu season, both of which can cause respiratory illness.
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Florida Influenza Surveillance Reports
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Historical reports are available dating back to the 2001-02 influenza season.
The flu season typically runs from October to May. To better contextualize the data presented in these reports, we have grouped them by season rather than calendar year.
Florida Influenza Surveillance Reports
Make a selection below to view previous Florida Flu Reviews for that season.
2020 – 2021 Weekly Florida Flu Reviews
2019 – 2020 Weekly Flu Reviews
When Is Flu Season In The Us
Flu season varies across the world: The southern hemisphere, which has its summer when we have our winter and vice-versa, goes through flu season during opposite times as the northern hemisphere, says infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
The exact timing of flu season can vary but, in the U.S., flu activity usually starts to pick up in October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Cooler weather drives more people indoors, explains Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. More people inside means theyre more likely to transmit viruses, he says.
From there, flu season typically peaks in December and February, before petering out in the springtime. Some seasons, heightened flu activity can last as late as May, the CDC says.
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Where To Get A Flu Vaccination
Flu vaccines are available at many locations, particularly in health-related institutions, such as doctors offices, clinics, health departments, and pharmacies.
Some schools will also facilitate a flu vaccination program to prevent a school-wide influenza outbreak. This broad level of availability means even children who do not have a regular doctor can get protection from influenza.
Q: Is There Anything Else People Should Know
A: If a child is running a high fever and is miserable in the first 24-48 hours, then you should check in with your doctor. There are some antiviral drugs that are specific for the flu, but its not always an easy call because you dont always know whether a child has the flu or not. Just because they have a fever doesnt mean they have the flu that these drugs will deal with. These medicines are more effective if started within about 48 hours of the onset of the flu.
The last thing you want when you or your child gets sick is another errand. Here are a few things you should have on hand during flu season.
- Fever-reducing medicine: ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Throat lozenges
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When To Expect Flu Season To Start Peak And End This Yearaccording To Experts
No matter how much COVID-19 has been on your mind, there are other respiratory viruses that are looking for a piece of you. Top among them, at least in terms of how sick you can get: the flu.
Technically, you can get the flu any time of year, but the virus does tend to infect people more during certain times of the year, beginning in the fall. When is flu season exactly, though? Heres what you need to know.
Preventing A Child From Getting The Flu
The most effective way to prevent a child from getting the flu is by administering a flu vaccination.
- These vaccinations cause antibodies to develop within the patients body, protecting the individual against the influenza virus.
- While seasonal flu vaccination is not a 100 percent certain way to eliminate the flu, it has been shown to significantly improve the odds of a person avoiding a flu infection.
- But a flu vaccination is not the only option parents have to fight the flu.
Parents can also incorporate better eating habits and hygiene into their childrens routines to help them persevere through the flu season.
Does Flu Season Change From Year To Year
The flu season remains relatively constant from year to year. What often changes is which weeks between December and March will account for the most number of flu cases.
Its also difficult to know how the flu will affect different parts of the country. Some areas can have large outbreaks of cases during one week while other parts of the country have very few cases during the same week. Different reporting systems keep track of weekly flu outbreaks during each season. This information is used to predict when peak flu activity will occur in different parts of the country.
And while the timing of flu season remains constant, it is difficult to predict how severe a flu season will be. For example, the 2020-2021 flu season was 8 months long but the number of flu cases reported during those months was fewer than in prior years. There were also fewer hospitalizations and deaths because of flu during the 2020-2021 season. Its not clear why this happened, but COVID-related precautions along with record high flu vaccine rates likely played a role.
Will Covid And Flu Spread At The Same Time
Dr. TingTing Wong, an infectious disease specialist at New York-Presbyterian Medical Group Brooklyn, told Fox News that the flu and COVID-19 will likely hit at the same time this fall and winter, creating a threat for doctors, hospitals and health care facilities.
It will be especially problematic, he said, because people arent taking as much precaution against COVID-19 and the flu in 2021 as they did in 2020.
- This year, however, we are heading into the flu season with more relaxed restrictions and the situation will allow for increased chance of respiratory illness transmissions, he told Fox News.We saw a similar uptick of summer colds caused by other viruses this summer as restrictions relaxed and the fear is a similar uptick of flu cases this fall/winter season.
- Bottom line, please get the flu vaccine early! Wong said.
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Why Is It So Important To Get A Flu Shot
Many people think of the flu as a mild illness. Its common for people to say a cough or sneeze is just the flu.
However, the flu can actually be a very serious illness. People in high-risk groups can experience serious flu symptoms that can lead to hospitalization and even death. High-risk groups include:
- young children
- people with diabetes
- people with conditions that impact their immune systems
The flu spreads in respiratory droplets from person to person. Even if you have a mild case, you can pass the flu virus to others. This could include people in high-risk groups.
Flu shots are the best way to prevent the flu and keep you from passing the flu to others. Research has shown that flu shots reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization, and death.
When you think about the flu, you probably think of a single condition, but there are actually different influenza viruses that can lead to the flu. Each year, researchers determine which strains of the flu-causing viruses are likely to be the most common during the upcoming flu season. This research is used to create the flu vaccine for that season. Thats one reason its so important to get a flu shot every year.
Flu viruses change all the time, so last years shot might not protect you from this years viruses. Plus, your immune systems defenses from the flu shot fade with time, so getting an annual shot is a great way to stay protected.
Previous Numbers For Flu Seasons
The final national data on flu season is released annually in April by the CDC .
Between October 1, 2019 and April 4, 2020, the flu resulted in:
- 39 to 56 million illnesses
- 410,000 to 740,000 hospitalizations
Between October 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021, the flu resulted in:
- 1,675 illnesses
- Unknown number of deaths
- One pediatric death
The CDC outlines possible reasons for the lower numbers and unavailable data in its 2020-2021 flu season summary.
Health officials continue to encourage people to get their flu and COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible this year. This will help to prevent the spread of both viruses and lessen the number of patients who may be admitted to local hospitals.
We have now learned that getting both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time is safe and effective, according to a study done in the United Kingdom. On November 19, 2021, the CDC said COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes simultaneously administering the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day.
Contact your primary care provider to schedule both shots or call your local pharmacy for more information.
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Can You Still Get The Flu Out Of Season Though
In a word, yesthe flu can technically circulate all year long, meaning you can get the flu anytime, says Dr. Bhuyan. Its just less like to be transmitted to large numbers of people during the off-season. Additionally, when its summer in the Northern Hemisphere, its winter in the Southern Hemisphere so if you travel to a place like Australia during their winter, you can definitely pick up the flu.
Cases of the flu begin to pick up around October, peak in December through February, and can last until May.
However, the virus isnt as strong during the warmer seasons, and people arent as susceptible, so its generally pretty rare, adds LaTasha Perkins, MD, a family physician in Washington D.C.
Will The Flu Vaccine Make Me Sick
The flu vaccine will not cause you to have the flu because both vaccines available contain either inactive virus or live virus, which however has been changed so that cannot give you the flu. However, like any kind of vaccine, there may be some side effects, which overall are mild the most common are, for example, soreness, swelling or redness at the site of the injection, fever, muscle aches and headache. All these signs and symptoms will resolve within few days.
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Use Medications As Directed
In the absence of complications or risk factors for complications, you do not need prescription medication to treat the flu. However, to relieve the fever and pain, you can take over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, for example Tylenol®, or ibuprophen, for example Advil®.
Avoid taking medications that contain identical ingredients at the same time. For instance, do not take Tylenol® and Tylenol® Sinus together because both of these medications contain acetaminophen.
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to reduce the duration and severity of your symptoms. This type of medication is more effective when taken at the onset of an infection.
Children and teenagers
If your child is over 3 months old and has a fever, you can give him or her acetaminophen, for example Tylenol®, making sure you follow the instructions that come with the product and based on your childs weight.
Avoid giving children and teenagers acetylsalicylic acid, for example aspirin. This medication could cause a serious brain and liver disease known as Reye’s syndrome in children and teenagers who have the flu.
Will We Have A Bad Flu Season This Year
It is still unclear however experts are predicting a big rebound in flu cases in the 2021-22 season. Last year flu season failed to show up mainly because of the public health measures implemented to control the COVID-19 pandemic, which had the added benefit of stopping the flu as well. This year with the “relaxation” of these precautions the flu could make a comeback.
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Were In Such Unusual Circumstances That Its Extremely Difficult To Predict What The Flu Situation Will Be Like This Year Says Tiley
But I think theres a realistic chance it will be very bad either this winter or next because of waning herd immunity, he adds. I think 2022 is more likely to be a problem year because the virus has more time to bounce back.
Immunity due to infection or vaccination against flu wanes over time. Initially the level of immunity can be high enough to prevent reinfection. However, as this immunity wanes , it becomes quite likely that you can be re-infected, even by exactly the same strain that you may have been vaccinated against previously.
In a normal year, reinfection with the same strain of flu would helpfully top up your immunity. But in the past two years there has been a lot less of this topping up going on because of COVID lockdowns and social distancing, so I think immunity will have waned in more people and to a greater degree, says Tiley.
We expect that the severity of flu caused by reinfection would be low – your secondary immune response kicks in quickly to prevent you becoming appreciably sick, unless of course the virus has evolved significantly in the meantime, he says. Nevertheless, by that stage the virus will have replicated in your respiratory tract to a level where it can be successfully passed on to someone else.
Why Do Some People Not Feel Well Or Feel Like They Have Flu Symptoms After Getting A Flu Vaccine
While a flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, there may be times when you dont feel well after getting your flu vaccine. Heres why:
- You may get some mild and temporary side effects after your flu vaccine, such as soreness or redness where you got your shot, muscle aches, headache or a low fever. These common side effects usually begin soon after you get the vaccine and last 1-2 days. These reactions are a sign that your immune system is working and that your body is building protection against flu.
- You could become sick from other respiratory viruses that are spreading during flu season. A flu vaccine only protects you from the flu, not other illnesses like COVID-19 or the common cold.
- You could encounter flu viruses, which cause the flu, shortly before getting your flu vaccine or during the 2 weeks after getting the vaccine when your body is still building immunity. As a result, you could get the flu before the vaccine has the chance to protect you.
- You could experience flu-like symptoms, even after getting vaccinated, because you were exposed to a flu virus that is very different from the viruses that the vaccine is designed to protect against. There are many different flu viruses that spread and cause illness among people. However, even when the circulating flu viruses are not a perfect match to the strains in the flu vaccine, getting a flu vaccine should still help protect you against serious flu illness and its complications.
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