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.
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.
Should My Child Get A Flu Shot
You may be thinking about getting vaccinated against the flu this year. Considering that 10% to 20% of Canadians will be affected by the influenza virus each year, that’s not a bad idea.
Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization advises all Canadians over age 6 months to get a flu shot. That’s because vaccination is one of the most effective preventive measures you could take. And with the “shot in the arm” that a vaccine can give, you’re less likely to be one of the 20,000 hospitalizations or 4,000 deaths blamed on the flu each year.
Still, you may be unsure. Perhaps answers to a few questions might make your decision easier:
Should I be vaccinated against the flu this year? Probably yes unless you happen to be 6 months of age or younger, are severely allergic to chicken eggs , or have had severe reactions to the vaccination in the past. If none of those apply to you, you should definitely be vaccinated if you fall into particular risk categories:
- young children between 6 and 59 months of age
- people who are 65 or older
- pregnant women
- people with chronic diseases such as heart or lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, anemia, cancer, or HIV or other immune-suppression diseases
- people who are morbidly obese
- those who live in a nursing home or care facility
- caregivers and health care workers
- those at high risk of complications who travel to areas where flu virus is circulating
- People of First Nations descent
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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.
Misconceptions About Physician Consent For Vaccination
Do pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions need special permission or written consent from their doctor to get a flu vaccine?
No. There is no recommendation for pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions to seek special permission or secure written consent from their doctor for vaccination if they get vaccinated at a worksite clinic, pharmacy or other location outside of their physicians office. With rare exception, CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older, including pregnant women and people with medical conditions.
A variety of flu vaccine products are available . Vaccine providers should be aware of the approved age indications of the vaccine they are using and of any contraindications or precautions. Providers also should appropriately screen all people getting vaccinated for allergies to vaccine components or other contraindications. People who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine or any of its ingredients should generally not be vaccinated.
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first speaking with their doctor. These include:
Pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions who get vaccinated should get a flu shot.
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The Frequency Of Training
NHSE& I has determined that pharmacists providing the Flu Vaccination Service need to attend face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support at least every three years.
A pharmacist who last undertook face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support in 2017 and would have needed to undertake face-to-face training in 2020 but deferred this due to the pandemic, and those who last undertook face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support in 2018, will need to complete their face-to face training in 2021.
Pharmacists are also expected to undertake annual update training each year, to ensure their knowledge stays up to date with changes in practice and guidance. This may involve self-directed learning, using relevant references sources, such as the Green Book and the annual flu letter. It may also include online training which is available from a range of providers.
Who Should And Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. For the 2021-2022 flu season, three main types of influenza vaccines will be available. Two kindsthe inactivated influenza vaccines and the recombinant influenza vaccine are injectable . The third type, the live attenuated influenza vaccine , is given by nasal spray. Different influenza vaccines are approved for different age groups. Some people should not get some types of influenza vaccines, and some people should not receive influenza vaccines at all . Everyone who is vaccinated should receive a vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health status. There is no preference for any one vaccine over another.
This page includes information on who should and who should not get an influenza vaccine, and who should talk to a health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding which influenza vaccines are best for you and your family.
All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual flu vaccination, with rare exception.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.
People who can get the flu shot:
Flu shots are appropriate for most people.
People who SHOULD NOT get a flu shot include:
People who SHOULD NOT get a nasal spray vaccine:
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Can My Child Get Flu From A Flu Vaccine
No, flu vaccines do not cause flu. Flu vaccines are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with
Flu vaccine protects your child from flu illness. However, flu shots can sometimes cause mild side effects that may be mistaken for flu. Keep in mind that it will take about 2 weeks after getting a vaccine for your child to build protection against flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended vaccine schedule.
Free Flu Shots Through Clinics Community Organizations And Public Health Departments
Many health departments and free clinics offer low-cost or free flu shots across the U.S. Here are a few examples:
Most colleges offer free flu shots for their students. Check on your schools website to confirm.
Military veterans enrolled in health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can get a flu shot at their nearest VA health care facility. This program does not apply to family members of veterans.
Many county health departments offer free, or discounted, flu vaccinations during flu season. Examples include:
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in partnership with select LA County Libraries, will offer free flu shots through November.
The Houston Health Department offers flu shots to uninsured and underinsured people on a sliding scale that ranges from free to $15.
Cant find a location near you on this list? Watch for announcements on your local news station or in your local newspaper or search online for free flu shots in your area or through your citys health department.
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Is The Flu Shot Safe For People Who Are Pregnant
Pregnant people are more at risk of severe complications from both influenza and COVID and weve seen reports of more severe disease in pregnant people. So if theres one thing that pregnant people can do to both safeguard their own health as well as the health of their newborn baby, it is to be vaccinated against both of these quite serious respiratory viruses.
The vaccine is safe in pregnancy. Particularly with influenza, if a person has been immunized, the likelihood of their newborn baby getting influenza in the first six months of life is reduced. And of course influenza in a young infant can be a very serious illness as well.
Vaccination is one of the most important steps along with public health measures that were really becoming used to such as hand washing or using hand hygiene, masking when its appropriate, and avoiding large crowds. But vaccination remains a hallmark of protection against influenza.
As the flu season approaches, it is really vital that we protect both ourselves, our patients, our families, and our community from influenza as well as COVID. The best way to do that is to make sure that youve had your vaccine and encourage vaccination in others.
Protection Against Common Flu Strains
Each year the flu vaccine protects against the three most common strains of flu. You are more at risk from flu complications if you fall into any of the categories listed above. In the worst cases, flu can result in a stay in hospital or even death.
You should get the vaccine even if you got it last year and you feel fit and healthy now.
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Where And When To Get The Flu Vaccine
A short explanation of the process from selection, invitation and vaccination. As of 2020, elderly people, born between 1941 and 1947, will also be offered a pneumococcal vaccination The two vaccinations follow the same process, however, with partly different target groups. More information about pneumococcal vaccination for the elderly.
Province Aiming To Increase Vaccination Rate
Last year about 20 percent of Newfoundland and Labrador residents were vaccinated against the flu, with 109,000 shots administered.
Hundreds of people who weren’t vaccinated ended up in hospital after contracting influenza and eight of those people died.
Dwyer said the NLMA expects fewer patients will be vaccinated this year because of the fee change and it fears that will mean more people will be hospitalized and maybe even die.
But Haggie says the province is hoping to vaccinate more people against influenza.
“What we’re going to do this year is make a concerted effort to improve vaccinations rates amongst the general adult population and one of the ways of doing that is having clinics open longer. Regional health authorities will have an increase of 25 to 30 per cent in public flu shot clinics. So in terms of access there will be really minimal barriers,” he said.
The province’s health authorities will start offering flu-shot clinics in late October.
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Walgreens Offers Scheduled And Walk
You can schedule an appointment online with any Walgreens Pharmacy. Scheduling an appointment will let you answer screener questions and enter your insurance or GoodRx coupon info, so you can be in and out even faster. You can also schedule a vaccine appointment or 1-800-WALGREENS . If you decide you would rather get your flu vaccine while youre already out of the house, walk-ins are welcome. Find your nearest Walgreens, or visit the Walgreens flu page for more information.
What You Need To Do
If you belong to one of the groups mentioned in this guidance, its important that you have your flu vaccination.
Speak to your GP or practice nurse, or alternatively your local pharmacist, to book a vaccination appointment and get the best possible protection. For pregnant women, the vaccine may also be available through maternity services.
The flu vaccine is free, so make an appointment to receive one.
Organisations wishing to protect their employees against flu will need to make arrangements for the vaccinations to be given through their occupational health departments. These vaccinations are not available on the NHS and will have to be paid for by the employer.
If you are a frontline health or social care worker, find out what arrangements have been made at your workplace for providing flu vaccination. Its important that you get protected.
The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence
This years flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Dont take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot as early in the season as possible.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. It is:
- available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and local public health units across the province
- proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
- different each year because the virus changes frequently so you need to get it every fall
Misconceptions About Flu Vaccine Effectiveness
Influenza vaccine effectiveness can vary. The protection provided by a flu vaccine varies from season to season and depends in part on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine and the similarity or match between the viruses in the vaccine and those in circulation. During years when the flu vaccine match is good, it is possible to measure substantial benefits from flu vaccination in terms of preventing flu illness and complications. However, the benefits of flu vaccination will still vary, depending on characteristics of the person being vaccinated , what influenza viruses are circulating that season and, potentially, which type of flu vaccine was used. For more information, see Vaccine Effectiveness How well does the Flu Vaccine Work. For information specific to this season, visit About the Current Flu Season.
There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications.
Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.
- Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
- A 2018 study showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit with flu by 82 percent.
Is it too late to get vaccinated after Thanksgiving ?
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Can I Get Both Vaccines At The Same Time
For adults, both the COVID vaccine and influenza vaccine can be given at the same time. Theres no concern about increased side effects from both vaccines nor are there any concerns about them not working as well. You may get a sore arm from both but overall side effects are very minimal with both of these vaccines. Theyre both very safe.
For children 5-11, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the Ontario Ministry of Health recommend spacing out the COVID vaccine from other vaccines by two weeks out of an abundance of caution to track side effects more easily.
Side Effects Of The Children’s Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine for children is very safe. Most side effects are mild and do not last long, such as:
- a runny or blocked nose
- a headache
If your child has the injected flu vaccine, side effects include:
- a sore arm where the injection was given
- a slightly raised temperature
These side effects usually last for a day or 2.
It’s rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine. If they do, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you or your child will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
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If You Have An Egg Allergy
Some of the flu vaccines are made using eggs.
Its important that you tell the person giving you your vaccine if you have an egg allergy or if youve ever had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine.
If you’re affected, please speak to your health professional for advice. An egg-free vaccine may be available.