What If I Get The Flu Virus Again
You can usually get your flu shot at your local pharmacy.
Don’t worry. If youre exposed to that kind of virus again, your body already knows how to take care of it. It can destroy the virus before you actually get sick.
This is how vaccines work. They give your body a virus or bacteria that is either dead or otherwise deactivated.
That way, the virus or bacteria cant actually get you sick, but your body can still recognize it and learn how to fight it.
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?
How Much It Hurts May Depend On How The Shot Was Administered
Slow injections may cause more pain, according to research published in the journal Vaccine. Researchers compared pain measurements in slow versus fast injections among infants and found that a faster shot reduced injection-induced pain when it came to certain vaccines, including the flu shot. A slower injection time means more time for the needle to be in contact with the skin, which could lead to the needle moving around more or even potentially cause muscle tissue damage, both of which make you feel sorer.
While you cant exactly predict the style of the person giving you the shot, try stroking or applying gentle pressure to the skin near the injection site during the shot, said Michael Grosso, chief medical officer at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, New York. Just give the nurse or pharmacist a heads up if you want to do this step before they get started. They may opt to do it for you so that you dont accidentally get pricked.
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Deltoid Muscle Of The Arm
The deltoid muscle is the site most typically used for vaccines. However, this site is not common for self-injection, because its small muscle mass limits the volume of medication that can be injected typically no more than 1 milliliter.
Its also difficult to use this site for self-injection. A caregiver, friend, or family member can assist with injections into this muscle.
To locate this site, feel for the bone thats located at the top of the upper arm. The correct area to give the injection is two finger widths below the acromion process. At the bottom of the two fingers, will be an upside-down triangle. Give the injection in the center of the triangle.
Why Do People Still Get The Flu When They Get A Flu Shot
There are several reasons a person may get sick after receiving a flu shot.
Some people may think that they have the flu when they are ill due to a different viral or bacterial infection. This is because many flu symptoms are similar to those of the common cold, which can also occur during flu season.
It takes about 2 weeks for a person to develop immunity to the flu after receiving a flu shot. During this time, it is possible that a person could be exposed to the flu virus and become sick.
The flu vaccine represents researchers best predictions about which flu virus strains will be most prevalent for that year. However, a person can still come into contact with a strain of flu virus that they are not immunized against.
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How Effective Is The Flu Vaccine
The effectiveness of the flu vaccine is dependent upon the extent of the match between the virus strains used to prepare the vaccine and those viruses in actual circulation. The age and health status of the individual also play a role in determining the effectiveness of the vaccine. While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by about 40%-60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are similar to those used in the vaccines. Similar reductions in the number of people hospitalized with the flu have also been observed. Rates of flu prevention may be even higher in healthy adults under 65 years of age.
Why Do Some People Not Feel Well After Getting A Flu Shot
Flu vaccine side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days. Some side effects that may occur from a flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, headache , fever, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue. The flu shot, like other injections, can occasionally cause fainting.
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Who Should Receive The Flu Vaccine
The CDC recommends that every individual over 6 months of age receive the seasonal flu vaccine. While everyone should get a vaccination, it is particularly important for some groups. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications if they get the flu, such as those with asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease as well as pregnant women and those over 65 years of age. It is also important for caregivers to get vaccinations, in addition to those who live with people in these risk groups.
How Is The Flu Vaccine Given
- Kids younger than 9 years old will get two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 1 month apart, if they’ve had fewer than two doses before July 2019. This includes kids who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time.
- Those younger than 9 who had at least two doses of flu vaccine will only need one dose.
- Kids older than 9 need only one dose of the vaccine.
Talk to your doctor about how many doses your child needs.
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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.
Sowhats in your seasonal flu vaccine and why? Experts break it down.
Should My Young Children Also Get Flu Shots
Allison Messina, MD, chairman of the division of infectious disease at Johns Hopkins All Childrens Hospital said, Yes, flu shots are recommended for all children aged 6 months and older. The youngest age recommended is 6 months.
According to the CDC, children are at risk of serious complications from the flu like pneumonia, dehydration, brain swelling, and though rare, death.
Thats why its so important to have children vaccinated. It also helps prevent missed days from school and the risk of hospitalization.
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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.
Flu Vaccine And Coronavirus
Flu vaccination is important because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.
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First Why Does The Flu Vaccine Cause A Sore Arm
There are actually a few different things that can lead to you having a little arm soreness after your flu shot, infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Health. For starters, the flu shot is an intramuscular vaccine, which means that it’s injected directly into a muscle in your arm.
“You just had puncture in your skin and muscle,” Dr. Adalja says. “That’s going to hurt and there will be some inflammation that occurs post-trauma to that muscle and skin.”
At the same time, there’s a localized immune response happening in your arm where the vaccine was injected, William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells Health. Meaning, your immune system jumps into action to react to the vaccine where it was injectedin your arm. “Your immune system is really starting to take advantage of that vaccine and working on it,” Dr. Schaffner says.
Add those two factors together and you can end up with a sore arm.
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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.
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You Really Are Sickbut With Something Else
Remember, too, that the flu shot only protects you from influenzanot other infections like the common cold, respiratory syncytial virus , and other viruses that may cause flu-like symptoms. Adults typically catch two to four colds per year, and young children will get six to eight.
When Should People Get The Flu Vaccine
Flu season runs from October to May. It’s best to get a flu vaccine as early in the season as possible, ideally by the end of October. This gives the body a chance to make antibodies that protect from the flu. But getting a flu vaccine later in the season is better than not getting it at all. Getting a missed flu vaccine late in the season is especially important for people who travel. That’s because the flu can be active around the globe from April to September.
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What’s An ‘attenuated’ Or Weakened Flu Vaccine
There is one kind of flu vaccine that does contain a livebut weakenedvirus. That’s the nasal mist, which is available for non-pregnant people age 2 to 49 with no serious underlying health conditions.
For this vaccine, the CDC explains that the viruses are first grown in eggs just as they are for the injection. But then instead of being killed, the viruses go through a different production process that weakens them. According to the CDC, “The weakened-viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only multiply at the cooler temperatures found within the nose, and not the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.”
“It’s a miracle of modern science,” says Dr. Schaffner. “The viruses are engineered on a molecular level, so they can’t multiply at the higher temperature that’s just a tiny bit higher in the lung compared to the nose. The viruses are incapable of multiplying at that temperature, so they can’t produce influenza at all.”
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Can I Have The Flu Vaccine If I Have An Allergy To Egg
Yes, the brands of the flu vaccine for the 2021 flu season can be given to people with egg allergy. Studies have shown that flu vaccines containing one microgram or less of ovalbumin do not trigger anaphylaxis in sensitive people. The residual ovalbumin in one dose of the flu vaccine for the 2021 is below this limit.
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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.
Flu Shot Tips From A Nurse
Feeling squeamish about getting your annual flu shot? We asked an expert for some advice in making the uncomfortable experience a little bit easier.
Nurse Janet Li-Tall has given thousands of flu shots in her 11 years working at the Occupational Health department of UCLA Health. She likes giving them because it protects the staff and patients, but she acknowledges that its human nature to be afraid of pain.
Here, she offers advice on how to get through the flu shot:
If you are nervous, tell the nurse. She can help distract you by talking and asking questions. When you are telling me about your weekend plans, it distracts you from thinking about the shot, says Li-Tall. If you feel like you are going to faint , you may want to lay down on an exam table to get your vaccine.
Plan your wardrobe. Wear short sleeves so that the health care professional giving you the shot can easily access your upper arm. If you are attending a public flu vaccine event where privacy may be minimal, consider wearing an undershirt in case you have to remove your outer long-sleeve shirt.
Get the injection in your non-dominant arm. Actually, it is your choice which side you choose, but if your arm does get sore youll notice it less in your non-dominant arm. However, if you have a fresh tattoo or a wound in the injection zone, get the shot in the other arm.
Visit www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm for more information on seasonal flu shots.
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Will The Flu Vaccine Help Fight The Coronavirus
The coronavirus and influenza are two different illnesses caused by different viruses. The flu shot will not help fight coronavirus infection, but getting a flu shot remains an important step in protecting your health and in reducing the overall burden of respiratory illness in the community. Having enough people vaccinated against the flu ensures that hospitals and clinics keep adequate space to treat patients with coronavirus infections. It is expected that both the coronavirus and the flu may be present at the same time in the 2020-21 flu season, and being vaccinated against the flu helps protect yourself and vulnerable populations against an illness that might happen at the same time as a coronavirus infection.
In 2020 The Flu Shot Was *a Bit* Better
The influenza vaccine is estimated to have been 39 percent effective during the 2019 to 2020 season, according to the CDC. To put that into a broader context, the flu shot generally provides about a 65 percent protection rate against contracting the flu, Dr. Adalja says.
So while even that 39 percent figure might sound low to you, it’s actually a decent number, and it does not mean you should skip your yearly shot . Flu season typically starts in October, peaks in December, and can stick around until May, so you want to be covered for all of it.
Just because the vaccine isnt 100 percent doesnt mean its worthless, says Dr. Adalja. And even if you do get the flu, you are much less likely to have a severe case requiring hospitalization, less likely to have major destruction to your life, and less likely to spread it.
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