The Flu Shot Is Effective
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from season to season. It depends on:
- how well the vaccine matches with the circulating flu viruses
- the health and age of the person getting the flu shot
The viruses circulating in the population can sometimes change during the time it takes to produce a vaccine. When this happens during the flu season, the flu shot may not work as well as expected.
It’s also important to remember that the flu shot protects against several different flu viruses each season. The seasonal flu shot can still provide protection against the remaining 2 or 3 viruses, even when theres:
- a less-than-ideal match
- lower effectiveness against one virus
If you do get the flu, the flu shot may reduce the severity of flu-related complications.
Getting your flu shot is still the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu and flu-related complications.
What Do Seniors Need To Know About The Flu Vaccine
Compared to younger adults, people who are 65 years and older have a greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. It has been estimated that in recent years seniors have accounted for 50-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations and 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths. In addition, seniors typically develop weaker immune responses to the flu vaccine. That’s why there are special flu vaccines specifically designed for seniors: the high-dose flu vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine.
Compared to a regular flu shot, the high-dose vaccine has four times the amount of antigen, which is part of the vaccine that triggers the immune response. The adjuvanted flu vaccine contains an extra substance called an adjuvant that helps the vaccine work better by giving you a stronger immune response. Both the high-dose vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine have demonstrated stronger immune responses in persons 65 years and older as compared to those who received the standard flu shot. Note that older adults can get any flu vaccine approved for use in their age group, including standard-dose flu vaccine.
How Does The Flu Vaccine Benefit Me
- Best way to avoid getting the flu
- Reduces missed work and school due to the flu
- Prevents flu-related hospitalizations
- Protects those you care for, work with, and live with
- This year, people with flu symptoms will likely have to get a COVID-19 test and stay home from work and isolate away from their families while awaiting results. Symptoms of the flu can be similar to early symptoms of COVID-19.
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What If My Parents Refuse To Sign For College Loans
You must immediately contact your schools financial aid office to discuss the possibility of getting an unsubsidized loan. The financial aid office may ask for a written statement from your parents, indicating that they refuse to provide their information on the FAFSA form and that they no longer support you.
What If I Have An Egg Allergy
Most flu shots and the nasal spray flu vaccine are made using egg-based technology, and may contain a small amount of egg proteins. However, studies show that severe allergic reactions to the flu shot and nasal spray vaccine are unlikely in people with egg allergies. People who have experienced only hives after exposure to eggs can receive any influenza vaccine. If eggs have given you serious allergic reactions, meaning any symptom other than hives, you can still receive any of the available influenza vaccines but you should receive it in a health care provider’s office, hospital, clinic, or health department under the supervision of a health care provider who can recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Your provider may recommend that you receive the egg-free influenza vaccine.
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Getting A Flu Vaccine: Four Steps
Community care flu shots are available to eligible Veterans who:
- Are enrolled in the VA health care system AND
- Received care through VA from either a VA or community provider within the past 24 monthsNOTE: Second requirement is new for 2021-2022 flu season.
To check your eligibility, Veterans can:
Call 800-MyVA411 , select option 1 , then select option 3 , and then option 1 again .NOTE: The system will check your eligibility for the community urgent care benefit, which includes the flu vaccine.
Contact your local VA medical facility.
Veterans can get a flu shot without prior authorization. Flu vaccines provided include standard , high dose, and preservative-free.
NOTE: Family members and beneficiaries are not eligible. State, age and health-related restrictions may apply. Individuals who are not eligible and receive a flu vaccine may be liable for the cost of the vaccine.
Who Should Get A Flu Shot
The CDC recommends annual flu shots for everyone 6 months and older. Vaccination is particularly important for people at higher risk of serious complications including anyone age 65 or older, children younger than 2, pregnant women and those with medical conditions like asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes, kidney or liver disease.
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Can You Get A Flu Shot If Youre Sick
It depends. The general guidance is it depends on how sick you are, says Donald Ford, MD, MBA, Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. If you have a mild illness or a cold what we normally think of a routine viral infection theres absolutely no reason why you cant go ahead and get your flu shot, which is protection against a more severe viral infection.
However, if you have a fever which for adults is classified as a temperature over 100.4° F or are otherwise feeling unlike yourself, Dr. Ford recommends rescheduling for another day.
The temperature is one marker, he says. If youre sick enough that youre staying home from work, if youre having trouble keeping food down or staying hydrated, those would be all reasons to at least postpone it.
How Do You Get The Flu
The flu is thought to be spread through tiny droplets that come out of an infected person’s mouth during sneezing, coughing or talking. People nearby can inhale the infected droplets and become sick. You can also catch the flu if the infected droplets get on your hands and you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
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If I Get The Flu Shot Can I Still Get The Flu
Several strains of flu go around, and the flu shot covers the ones youre most likely to get. But its possible to catch a strain that isnt covered by the vaccine. Still, getting the vaccine reduces your chances of getting the flu. And the vaccine can also reduce how severe the flu is if you do get it.
Should You Get The Flu Shot If You Have Diabetes
Yes, while the flu shot is recommended to anyone six months of age or older, it is especially recommended for people with diabetes. Diabetes Canada and the American Diabetes Association both recommend that people with diabetes should receive an annual influenza vaccination during flu season to reduce the risk of influenza-related hospitalizations and death.
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When Should You Get The Flu Shot
In Canada, cases of the flu tend to rise over the fall and peak in the winter months. Flu shots start to be available early fall – before the onset of the flu season. But, vaccination later into the flu season is still effective! Just keep in mind, the flu shot takes about two weeks to take effect.
While flu shots dont provide 100% protection against getting the flu, they help make it less likely for you to catch the flu for about six months.
People With Illnesses Or Health Conditions
Children over six months old and adults should get the vaccine if they have:
- a chronic chest condition such as asthma
- a chronic heart condition
- lowered immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroids or cancer therapy
- a chronic neurological condition such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or a condition that affects the nervous system such as cerebral palsy
- a very high body weight
- any other serious medical condition, ask your doctor if you’re unsure
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Demand May Be High But Supplies Are On Hand
No shortages or delays in flu vaccine shipments are expected for the 20212022 flu season. But the CDC cautions that in some places, robust demand for vaccine and supplies required to support flu vaccination efforts, like needles or syringes, may mean that some providers run out of vaccine or other supplies before their next shipment has arrived.
With this possibility in mind, the public is advised to double check with their site of choice to make sure product is in stock.
Last year, we administered double the number of flu shots we had the previous year, says CVSs Massee. This year, we expect a similar volume of flu vaccinations throughout flu season and have taken proactive measures to secure access to flu shots for patients. We have ample supply of vaccine on hand and do not anticipate widespread shortages for the months when demand for the flu shot is at its peak.
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.
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I’ve Heard There Are Different Flu Vaccines Available Which One Is Right For Me
There are several different flu vaccines, and your pharmacist or other health care provider can help find the right vaccine for you. The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine each year. The CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over another the most important thing is that you get a flu vaccine every year.
All flu vaccines are quadrivalent , meaning they are designed to protect against four different flu viruses. The flu shots are injections that are administered into your upper arm. The flu shots do not contain a live virus and are either inactivated or recombinant .
There is also a nasal spray. The nasal spray contains live-attenuated influenza virus and is quadrivalent. The nasal spray flu vaccine may be an option for healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 years who aren’t pregnant or have a weakened immune system.
People who are 65 years and older have additional options. Older adults have the option of receiving either a high dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine. These flu shots are specifically formulated for seniors and in past studies, have demonstrated better protection against the flu in persons ages 65 and older.
What Is The Flu
Influenza is a respiratory illness, which means that it affects your airways. It is spread easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and even talking. When you get the influenza virus it sometimes takes one to four days before you start noticing symptoms. This means that you could spread the flu to those around you before you even know that you’re sick. Adults may be able to spread the flu for up to seven days after first becoming sick, and children may continue to spread the flu for even longer.
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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.
Are There Risks To Getting A Flu Shot When Youre Sick
If you do get a flu shot when youre sick, dont worry you wont hurt yourself or make yourself sicker. However, its best to let your body focus on dealing with your existing illness.
The immune system is preoccupied with fighting off what youre already sick with, says Dr. Ford. And so you want your system in a prepared state. That way when you get the vaccine, you get a good response. And that bolsters your immunity to influenza that will hopefully last you through the whole flu season.
In a perfect world, getting a flu shot would ensure you stay healthy. But if you get sick a few days after getting a flu shot, will that hurt your chances of developing immunity for the season?
Thankfully, likely not. The immune response to any vaccination happens fairly quickly, typically within the first 24 to 48 hours, says Dr. Ford. So if you find yourself sick later on its a funny thing, because people always say, Well, I got sick from the flu shot. However, the illness was probably there to begin with, and you just hadnt started feeling symptoms. As long as your symptoms are minimal, your bodys going to have a great chance to mount the immunity.
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Where To Get A Flu Shot
During flu season you can get a free flu shot from:
- your doctor or nurse practitioner
- participating pharmacies
Children six moths to four years old can get their flu shot from a doctor, nurse practitioner or local public health unit. Children under five years old cannot get a flu shot at a pharmacy.
Seasonal Flu And Covid
COVID-19 and the flu will likely both be spreading this season, according to the CDC. Protecting yourself from the flu with a flu shot helps reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalization.3 Thats important this year because there continue to be concerns about hospital capacity with the ongoing spread of COVID-19. It may be hard to know if you have COVID-19 or if it may be the flu or a cold, since symptoms are similar. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine will give you the best protection. You can even get them at the same time.3 Ask your doctor if you have more questions about how these vaccines can help protect you.
- Those with specific health conditions
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Should You Get The Flu Shot If You Have Diabetes What’s All The Fuss About
The flu is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza viruses. If you have diabetes or another chronic health condition, chances are your healthcare provider or team asks you about getting the flu shot on a regular basis. Wondering what all the fuss is about? Read on to find out!
Who Can Get A Free Flu Vaccine
You can get a free flu vaccine if you are:
- aged 50 to 64 years
- living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- in regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl
People aged 50 to 64 have been added to the free flu vaccine programme until the end of April 2022.
People with these conditions can also get a free flu vaccine:
- chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
- chronic liver disease
- chronic kidney failure
- chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia
- chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system
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How Does The Flu Impact Blood Sugar
Getting sick with the flu can make blood sugar more difficult to manage. When we get sick, our bodies increase the secretion of stress hormones . These hormones work against insulin to raise blood sugar.
On the flip side, if your blood sugar has been trending above target, it can also make the effects of the flu more dragged out as high blood sugar dampens your bodys immune response.
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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What Else Can We Do To Avoid Catching The Flu
Dont forget to continue to keep up other precautions :
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
When possible, try to avoid close contact with others when they are sick
If you are wondering where to get your flu shot, check out this page for more info specific to your province!