What Protection Does A Flu Vaccine Provide If I Do Get Sick With Flu
Some people who get vaccinated may still get sick. However, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick:
- A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients.
- Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with flu was 59% less likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit than someone who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.
In addition, its important to remember that flu vaccine protects against three or four different viruses and multiple viruses usually circulate during any one season. For these reasons, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older even if vaccine effectiveness against one or more viruses is reduced.
Who Should Not Have The Flu Vaccine
Most adults can have the flu vaccine, but you should avoid it if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.
You may be at risk of an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine injection if you have an egg allergy. This is because some flu vaccines are made using eggs.
Ask a GP or pharmacist for a low-egg or egg-free vaccine.
If you’re ill with a high temperature, it’s best to wait until you’re better before having the flu vaccine.
Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine
Nationally, influenza vaccination prevented an estimated 7.52 million illnesses, 3.69 million medical visits, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths due to influenza during the 2019-2020 season. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through the community.
It is especially important to get the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Flu vaccination reduces the prevalence and severity of illness caused by flu, reducing symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19
- It will reduce the overall burden of respiratory illness that will protect people at higher risk for severe illness of both flu and COVID-19
- The reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions from flu vaccination will alleviate stress on the health care system
For additional information, please see the CDC page: This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!
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Which Flu Vaccine Should You Get
Flu specialists have stepped up their reminders about flu vaccines after fresh numbers showed the U.S. had its deadliest flu season in decades, with 80,000 people dead and a record number of hospitalizations.
Just about everyone is advised to get an influenza vaccine, and people need a fresh one every year.
Flu is a major killer. This past flu season showed just how bad it can get: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu killed 80,000 people in 2017-2018, including 180 children, and put 900,000 into the hospital.
Here’s some guidance about flu vaccines:
Why Was Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine Developed
For many years, flu vaccines were designed to protect against three different flu viruses: an influenza A virus, an influenza A virus and one influenza B virus, even though there are two different lineages of B viruses that circulate during most seasons. Adding a B virus from the second lineage was done to give broader protection against circulating flu viruses.
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Children Who Shouldnt Have The Vaccination
Children may not be able to have the nasal vaccine if they:
- are currently wheezy or have been wheezy in the past 72 hours, they should be offered a suitable injected flu vaccine to avoid a delay in protection
- have needed intensive care due to asthma or egg allergic anaphylaxis
- have a condition, or are on treatment, that severely weakens their immune system or have someone in their household who needs isolation because they are severely immunosuppressed
- are allergic to any other components of the vaccine
- have a condition that needs salicylate treatment
Also, children who have been vaccinated with the nasal spray should avoid close contact with people with very severely weakened immune systems for around 2 weeks following vaccination because theres an extremely remote chance that the vaccine virus may be passed to them.
Administering The Flu Vaccine During The Covid
It is more important than ever to get the vaccine this year as research shows that for some people contracting COVID-19 and flu virus increases the risk of complications, which could be fatal.
Robust infection control procedures and social distancing will be in place in all settings where the flu vaccination is administered.
You can also reduce your risk or catching coronavirus by following the latest public health advice when you are out getting your vaccination:
Do not attend your vaccination appointment if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or if you are in self-isolation having been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19. You should rearrange your appointment.
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Flu Vaccine For Children
The annual flu vaccination programme includes:
- all pre-school children aged two years and over
- all children at primary school
- all children in Years 8 to 12 in secondary school
- children aged six months to two years with underlying health conditions
- children aged 16 and 17 years with underlying health conditions
Children should also get the flu vaccine if:
- they were previously in hospital with a chest infection
- they go to a school for children with severe learning difficulty
What Are The Benefits Of A Universal Vaccine
A universal flu vaccine would keep you protected against the flu long term, eliminating the need for an annual shot. It would also be effective against current and future strains of the flu virus, which could help prevent flu outbreaks worldwide.
This type of shot would significantly help in areas of the world, including parts of the U.S., where people do not live close to any pharmacies or healthcare facilities where they can easily receive vaccines each year.
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Is The Vaccine Effective
Every year, there will be some people who have received a vaccine but go on to contract the flu. Variations in the makeup of the jab mean that immunity can range from 30-90%. This is because different flu strains and variants exist and scientists monitor these closely in the hope of predicting the likely makeup of seasonal flu. As there is a degree of estimation in these calculations, some years a vaccine proves more effective than others.
Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I’m Breastfeeding
Yes, you can safely have the vaccine if you are breastfeeding. Getting yourself protected can help prevent you becoming infected and passing the flu on to your baby. Breastfeeding may also offer some protection to the baby. However, babies have more protection if you get vaccinated during pregnancy.
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Children And The Flu Vaccination
If you have a child over 6 months of age who has one of the conditions listed above, they should have a flu vaccination. All these children are more likely to become severely ill if they catch flu, and it could make their existing condition worse.
Talk to your GP about your child having the flu vaccination before the flu season starts.
The flu vaccine does not work well in babies under 6 months of age so it is not recommended. This is why it is so important that pregnant women have the vaccination they will pass on some immunity to their baby that will protect them during the early months of their life.
Some other groups of children and young people are also being offered the flu vaccination. This is to help protect them against the disease and help reduce its spread both to other children, including their brothers or sisters, and, of course, their parents and grandparents. This will help you to avoid the need to take time off work because of flu or to look after your children with flu.
The children being offered the vaccine this year, are:
- all children aged 2 or 3 years old on 31 August 2021
- all primary school-aged children
- all year 7 to year 11 secondary school-aged children
- children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu
For more information on children and flu vaccination, visit NHS.UK.
Do I Need The Flu Vaccine If I Am Travelling
Whether or not you are at high risk for the complications of flu, you should consider getting a flu vaccination before travelling overseas because studies have shown that the flu is the most commonly contracted vaccine-preventable disease among international travellers.
- Flu outbreaks have been linked to travellers.
- Certain types of travel where large numbers of people are likely to be in close proximity, such as cruise ship voyages or events that include mass gatherings, are particularly high risk.
- In tropical countries, the flu can occur throughout the year, so vaccination is worthwhile regardless of the season.
- In temperate climates in the northern hemisphere, the flu is more common between the months of December and March.
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How Would A Universal Flu Vaccine Compare To The Annual Flu Shot
A universal flu vaccine would likely have some similarities to the annual flu shot, but a few differences would give it an advantage.
The most obvious difference is that a universal flu shot, unlike the annual shot, wouldnt need to be updated every year with new strains. With one universal shot, youd hypothetically be covered long term against multiple varying strains of the virus, instead of just a few strains every year.
But in terms of effectiveness, how would the two types of shots compare? According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , a universal flu vaccine should be at least 75% effective. This is compared to the annual flu vaccine, which is about 40% to 60% effective. More on this next.
Is There More Than One Type Of Flu Shot Available
Yes. There are different flu vaccine manufacturers and multiple influenza vaccine products licensed and recommended for use in the United States.
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:
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Which Flu Vaccine Is The Most Effective
When flu vaccines are being produced, the strains included are standardized by the FDA. Each 2021-2022 vaccine includes:
Two type B viruses
This means that no matter what vaccine you choose, youre being protected against the same strains. Flu vaccines are typically between 40% and 60% effective from year to year. But when it comes to picking the right flu vaccine for you, you have to take other factors into account.
Influenza Vaccine For Adults
The influenzavaccine is a yearly vaccine that protects you from getting the flu, a viral respiratory illness that spreads very easily. The flu can lead to serious health complications and possibly death.
The three or four flu strains covered by the flu vaccine differ from year to year. Thats because the flu viruses are constantly changing. Scientists develop a new flu vaccine each season based on research that predicts which strains will be most likely to make you sick.
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Where Can I Learn More
More information on the inactivated influenza vaccine, including possible reactions and who should not get the vaccine, can be found in the HealthLinkBC File: Inactivated Influenza Vaccine.
For answers to frequently asked questions about influenza vaccines, visit our FAQ about influenza vaccines page.
When To Get A Flu Shot
The flu shot is the most effective way to prevent catching the flu virus and is available to walk-in patients seven days a week after AFC Urgent Care Lakewood gets our supply of vaccines. The flu shot is recommended for all patients over the age of six months old, especially those considered to be high risk for complications including senior citizens, pregnant women, patients with chronic health conditions and patients who are immunocompromised. The vaccine takes about two weeks to form the necessary antibodies and take effect, which is why it benefits you to get the shot as soon as possible. By getting the flu shot early, your body has time to adjust and immunize before the virus begins to spread through your community.
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Can The Flu Shot Give Me The Flu
No. All flu vaccines used in Australia are inactivated, which means they do not contain the live flu virus so you can’t catch the flu from the vaccine.
Less than 1 in 6 people experience side effects from the flu shot that are similar to the early signs of the flu. These may include fever, tiredness and muscle aches. These side effects can start within a few hours of vaccination and sometimes last for 1 to 2 days. They usually go away on their own, once your body has developed an immune response to the vaccine, which will protect you from the flu virus.
Its important to remember that the side effects show the vaccine is triggering an immune response, which is what its designed to do.
Why Do We Need The Flu Vaccine Every Year
Flu vaccines have an excellent safety record. They are the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths each year among at-risk groups. It is important to have a flu vaccine every year because the flu virus is very variable and changes over time. Each year there are different strains around, and a new vaccine has to be prepared to deal with them. Vaccination from previous years is not likely to protect people against current strains of flu.
Each years flu vaccine is made to give the best protection against the strains of flu that are expected to circulate in the coming season. The trivalent vaccine protects against three of the flu virus strains which are most likely to be around. The quadrivalent vaccine protects against four flu virus strains. However, decisions about what to put in the flu vaccine have to be made six months before the flu season starts.
Every February in the Northern Hemisphere, the World Health Organization reviews the types of flu that have been circulating in all parts of the world and chooses the ones which will go into the vaccine for the following autumn. This allows time for the vaccine to be made but it also gives the flu virus time to change before vaccination starts in the autumn. This means that sometimes the flu vaccine may not be a good match for all the strains of flu that are circulating.
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Who Should Have The Vaccine
In 2021/22 flu season, the following people are eligible to receive the flu vaccine for free:
- All children aged 2 to 15 on 31st Aug 2021
- Those aged 50 years or over
- Those in long-term residential care homes
- Frontline health and social care workers
- Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- Those aged 6 months to 65 years in at-risk groups including people with the following health conditions:
- Respiratory diseases, including asthma
- Heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease
- Neurological conditions including learning disability
- A severely weakened immune system , a missing spleen, sickle cell anaemia or coeliac disease
- Being seriously overweight
Babies under 6 months old are too young to receive a flu vaccine. This is because they have maternal antibodies passed on from their mother which prevent the vaccine from working so well. Flu vaccination is offered to all pregnant women in the UK . As well as protecting pregnant women themselves, this also helps to protect their newborn babies from flu.
Your doctor may recommend the flu vaccine in other circumstances as well.
Why The Cdc Updated Its Guidance
When the COVID-19 vaccines first came out, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended not getting other vaccines for 14 days before and after each COVID-19 dose.
The agency changed its guidance in May after data showed that the COVID-19 vaccine was safe and that other vaccines would not interfere with the immune response, experts say.
“That was because we wanted to really assess the side effects of the COVID vaccine as we rolled it out. We didn’t want to get that confused by giving other vaccines at the same time, says William Schaffner, M.D., a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Now, the CDC says COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines can be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day, as well as coadministration within 14 days.
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Why Is There A Need For Flu Vaccines Designed Specifically For People 65 Years And Older
People 65 years and older are at increased risk of developing serious complications from flu compared with young, healthy adults. This is partly because human immune defenses become weaker with increasing age. During most seasons, people 65 years and older account for the majority of flu hospitalizations and deaths. In the United States, between about 70 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people 65 years and older. The weakened immune system can also mean that older people dont respond as well to flu vaccination. Given the higher risk of severe flu illness and lower protective immune response after vaccination among older adults, substantial research and development have led to the production of new flu vaccines intended to provide better immunity in this age group.
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