Can I Have Flu And Covid
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.
When Is It Too Late To Get A Flu Shot
While you usually want to get a flu shot well before flu season gets started, that isn’t always possible. With flu shot delays or shortages, your child might not always be able to get a flu shotwhen you want.
So when is it too late to get vaccinated against the flu?
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated early, but they also say, “Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.”
So it is really never too late to get a flu vaccine.
Is The Flu Vaccine Safe
The flu vaccine is safe for most people and is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. People who should not receive flu vaccines are those who have had a severe allergic reaction to a flu or other vaccine in the past and those who have had a condition called Guillan-Barre syndrome.
If you have questions about your specific medical conditions, call your doctor to ask about if its safe for you to get a flu vaccine.
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When Not To Wait
The CDC recommends the annual flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months with a few exceptions.
If you’re not dealing with a moderate to severe illness, you should have no problem with the vaccine and should not hold off. A cough, congestion, headache, and sore throat won’t affect your body’s response to the flu shot.
The nasal spray flu vaccine may be a different story. If you’re congested, you may need to wait until your sinuses clear up. Otherwise, you risk not getting the full benefit of the vaccine.
Availability Of Flu Vaccines
Different brands of the flu vaccine from different manufacturers are used and they become available at different times. Some flu vaccines are used only in the funded program, some are used only for private programs and others may be used for both funded and private programs.
When adequate stocks are available, the funded flu vaccine is distributed to immunisation providers using the established South Australian vaccine distribution system. Privately purchased flu vaccine supplies are arranged by the providers that use them and may be available at a different time to funded flu vaccines.
Check with your immunisation provider to find out approximately when they will have the vaccine available and when you will be able to book in to have the vaccine.
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How Effective Is This Year’s Flu Vaccine
Vaccine-makers monitor which flu strains are currently circulating and forecast which are most likely to become the dominant ones during the upcoming flu season. They use that data to produce the yearly flu vaccine, using three or sometimes four of the likeliest strains.
The effectiveness of the flu vaccine fluctuates greatly from year to year — as low as 19% efficacy in the 2014-2015 season to as high as 60% in 2010-2011.
Last year, when about half of US adults and children got a flu shot, the vaccine was 39% effective in preventing infection, according to the CDC. Due to an effective vaccine and COVID-19 mitigation measures, the number of reported flu cases during the 2020-2021 season was so low it almost seems like a typo: only 2,038 cases of flu, compared to 38 million cases reported in the 2019-2020 season.
Because of the unbelievably mild flu season last year, vaccine-makers had less information to use to develop this year’s vaccine. They created a vaccine containing four likely variants, known as a quadrivalent flu vaccine, to increase the chances of nailing the dominant strain this year.
“There was enough data to make a good educated guess,” L.J. Tan, chief strategy officer for the Immunization Action Coalition, said in October. Back then, Tan said experts were confident “we got it right.”
Best Timing For Vaccination
The timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during the peak of the influenza season. Flu season in Queensland is typically from June to September, with the peak usually in August.
Vaccinating from April provides protection before the peak season takes place. While protection is generally expected to last for the whole season, the best protection against influenza occurs within the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination.
It is never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate in the community all year round. Vaccination should continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating and a valid vaccine is available.
It is also important to remind people that the vaccine is not immediately effective and it generally takes 10 to 14 days to be fully protected.
Revaccination late in the same year for individuals who have already received a vaccination is not routinely recommended, although not contraindicated. Revaccination may be considered for people travelling to the Northern Hemisphere in late 2020, who were vaccinated in early 2020. An individual’s risk factors, risk of disease and current circulating virus strains should be taken into consideration before recommending a second dose. A second dose is not funded under the National Immunisation Program and the individual will need to pay for the vaccine and consultation fee, if applicable.
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How The Flu Vaccine Works
Development of the seasonal flu vaccine actually begins many months ahead of flu season. The viruses used in the vaccine are based on extensive research and surveillance into which strains will be most common during the upcoming season.
Seasonal flu vaccines protect against two types of influenza viruses: influenza A and influenza B. They can also be either trivalent or quadrivalent.
The trivalent vaccine protects against three flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus.
The quadrivalent vaccine protects against the same three viruses as the trivalent vaccine, but it also includes an additional influenza B virus.
Possible Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
Like any medications, the flu vaccine can have some minor and short lasting side effects.
Common side effects may include:
- pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- drowsiness, tiredness or irritability
- muscle aches
- low grade fever of 37 to 38 degrees Celsius.
Some side effects may appear as flu-like symptoms, but all flu vaccines currently available in Australia do not contain live virus and cannot cause the flu.
Rare side effects may include a severe allergic reaction.
If you are concerned or worried, seek further advice from your doctor, immunisation provider, SA Healths Immunisation Section or healthdirect Australia.
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How You Catch Flu
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.
You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you should wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.
But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.
What Kinds Of Flu Vaccines Are Available
CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine during the 2021-2022 influenza season. Available influenza vaccines include quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated influenza vaccine . No preference is expressed for any influenza vaccine over another.
Quadrivalent flu vaccines include:
Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over others?
For the 2021-2022 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, influenza vaccine that is appropriate for the recipients age and health status, including inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated nasal spray influenza vaccine with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.
There are many vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.
Who Should Vaccinate?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season with rare exception. CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-2011 influenza season.
More information is available at Who Needs a Flu Vaccine.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?
When should I get vaccinated?
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Can I Get The Influenza Vaccine And Covid
You can get the Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine but not on the same day. You should wait at least 7 days between receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.
You arent required to have the vaccines in any particular order. The order will likely depend on vaccine availability, so you may receive whichever vaccine you have access to first.
If youre having the Pfizer vaccine, this means you may be able to get a flu vaccination in between the 2 doses, if appropriate.
In special cases, your healthcare provider may consider shortening the time period between the different vaccines or they may suggest you receive the vaccines on the same day. This will only be considered if:
- theres a high risk that youll be exposed to one of the diseases
- its highly likely that the opportunity of receiving either vaccine will be missed
If this is suggested, youll be counselled about any possible adverse events from each vaccine. Youll be advised to report any adverse events.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more advice on how to schedule vaccinations.
The Importance Of Social Distancing
Two reasons that last flu season was such a quiet one: social distancing and improved hygiene, says Dr. Rehm. Last year, the use of face masks, social distancing and paying more attention to hand-washing all impacted the lower rates of flu and other respiratory viruses, she says.
All of these things are still part of our strategy going forward, not just to prevent COVID-19 and the flu, but other viruses, too, she adds. Having robust vaccines adds to these levels of protection.
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Is It Safe To Get Both Shots At Once
According to the CDC, current guidance has shown that COVID-19 vaccines can be coadministered with other vaccines, including influenza vaccines.
Lisa Grohskopf, MD, MPH, a medical officer in the influenza division at CDC, tells Verywell that while weve said recently when asked that its safe to get both vaccines, this is the first published notice.
The CDCs recommendation to give both shots at the same vaccine appointment is an update to previous guidance, which stated that people should wait 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines.
According to the CDC, the guidance changed because experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.
Flu Shot Timing: What’s Optimal
Aug. 30, 2021 — Amid fresh national recommendations for COVID booster shots to ramp up waning immunity, new research examining the durability of flu vaccination indicates significantly dwindling protection just months after inoculation.
Maximum influenza vaccine efficacy in adults occurred shortly after vaccination, followed by an average decline of 8% to 9% each month and an even swifter drop among older adults.
Even a 1- or 2-month delay in annual flu vaccination could improve vaccine effectiveness by 10% to 20%, according to the study, published August 15 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Analyzing vaccine timing relative to influenza-associated hospitalizations among more than 5500 adults, the findings are broadly consistent with both early and more recent studies, says study author Jill Ferdinands, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.
“These findings are not surprising,” Ferdinands tells Medscape Medical News. “In the very first successful trial of inactivated influenza vaccine in 1943, the study’s authors observed that antibodies to influenza declined by about one third within 4 to 5 months after vaccination.”
But “a better understanding of waning immunity, like the information gained by this study, could help further optimize the recommendation,” she says.
He says the COVID pandemic might prove to “actually be a shot in the arm for influenza vaccine research.”
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Who Should Not Get The Flu Shot
Very few children should NOT get a flu shot:
- Babies under 6 months of age. Although the vaccine is not harmful to babies less than 6 months old, it does not work.
- If your child has a serious allergy to thimerosal , a thimerosal-free vaccine should be given.
The influenza vaccine is safe for individuals with an egg allergy.
How We Protect Against Flu
Flu is unpredictable. The vaccine provides the best protection available against a virus that can cause severe illness. The most likely viruses that will cause flu are identified in advance of the flu season and vaccines are then made to match them as closely as possible.
The vaccines are given in the autumn ideally before flu starts circulating. During the last 10 years, the vaccine has generally been a good match for the circulating strains.
Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu virus circulating.
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When Should I Get A Flu Shot During Pregnancy
Flu season can last from as early as October until as late as May. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot as early in each flu season as possible so youre protected from the start.
But its never too late to get immunized. So if you havent yet been vaccinated against the flu, go now! And remember: The vaccine is updated yearly, and immunity wanes with time so even if you got the flu shot last year, you need to get one again this season.
Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.
But it’s especially important that those in higher-risk groups get vaccinated to avoid health problems from the flu. They include:
- all kids 6 months through 4 years old
- anyone 65 years and older
- all women who are pregnant, are trying to become pregnant, have recently given birth, or are breastfeeding during flu season
- anyone whose immune system is weakened from medications or illnesses
- people who live in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes
- any adult or child with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes
- kids or teens who take aspirin regularly and are at risk for developing Reye syndrome if they get the flu
- caregivers or household members of anyone in a high-risk group
- Native Americans and Alaska Natives
Babies younger than 6 months can’t get the vaccine. But if their parents, other caregivers, and older kids in the household get it, that will help protect the baby. This is important because infants are more at risk for serious problems from the flu.
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When Should I Get Vaccinated
You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. Vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
The Flu Vaccine Is Safe
To ensure that the flu vaccine is safe, effective, and of high quality, the FDA prepares and provides reagents to manufacturers that they need to make their vaccine and to verify its identity and potency. The FDA also inspects manufacturing facilities regularly and evaluates each manufacturers vaccine annually before it can be approved.
The FDAs oversight doesnt end there. After manufacturers have distributed their vaccines for use by the public, the FDA and CDC work together to routinely evaluate reports of adverse events following vaccination submitted by vaccine manufacturers, health care providers and vaccine recipients to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System .
Additional efforts are in place to monitor vaccine safety. The FDA partners with private organizations that collect health care data and other federal agencies to further evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccines and other vaccines that the FDA has approved or authorized for emergency use.
The Biologics Effectiveness and Safety Initiative is one of the programs the FDA utilizes to assess vaccine safety and effectiveness in real-world conditions, reflecting patient care and the real-world use of the influenza vaccine and other vaccines in the U.S. In addition, the CDC maintains the Vaccine Safety Datalink program, which evaluates the vaccines safety similar to the BEST Initiative. VSD receives its data from nine integrated health care organizations in the U.S.
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