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Why The Flu Vaccine Is Important

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People At High Risk Of Complications From The Flu

Why the Flu Vaccine is Important
  • people with health conditions, such as:
  • cancer and other immune compromising conditions
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
  • children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid
  • people 65 years and older
  • people who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • children under 5 years of age
  • people who experience barriers in accessing health care
  • people who are at an increased risk of disease because of living conditions, such as overcrowding
  • Why You Should Still Get A Flu Shot This Year

    Nov. 10, 2021 — The flu shot is far less effective than the COVID-19 vaccines, causes more side effects, and targets an infectious disease that most people survive, with the flu killing only a fraction of those who die from coronavirus.

    So should you even bother getting a flu shot this year?

    Health experts say the short answer is yes.

    They point to three key reasons federal health authorities recommend the flu shot for everyone 6 months old and older:

  • The vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself and others from the flu, which kills an average of 36,000 Americans every year, and flu-related complications.
  • Side effects from the shot are very rare and typically mild— primarily soreness where the needle went into your skin, headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue.
  • With COVID-19 expected to surge in coming weeks as Americans travel and gather for the winter holidays, this is not the year to risk becoming hospitalized for the flu or other preventable diseases.
  • âIt’s really important to reduce the risk of getting the flu, which is what the flu vaccine does,â says Leana Wen, MD, an emergency medicine doctor and public health policy professor at George Washington University. âThis is particularly important this year, when we could very well face the confluence of influenza and COVID-19.â

    She notes that flu shots, as well as COVID-19 vaccines, donât protect only those who receive them.

    Why Flu Shot Effectiveness Varies

    What Can We Expect This Year?

    Is It Safe To Receive Doses Of The Flu And Covid

    Yes — and you can even get them on the same day if you havent yet been vaccinated against COVID-19. Receiving both does not change the effectiveness of either vaccine or cause more side effects. Both vaccines can be given during the same appointment and current Duke Health patients can schedule a flu or COVID-19 vaccination through Duke MyChart. If youre not a current patient, you can still use Duke Healths scheduling system to set a time to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge to a patient and if you have medical insurance, a flu vaccine is also typically free.

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    Is It Safe To Get The Flu Vaccine

    Both doctors assure that its safe to get a flu shot at doctors offices and hospitals.

    Enhanced safety measures are in place to protect you while youre getting the shot and to protect your health care team as well, Tiwari says.

    As for the shot itself, like any injection, vaccines can cause side effects. Flu vaccine side effects, which are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days, may include the following:

    • Soreness, redness and/or swelling at the injection site
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Muscle aches

    If you experience these side effects, dont be alarmed: It does not mean the vaccine has given you the flu.

    In fact, theres literally no way you can get the flu from the flu vaccine. As the CDC explains, the vaccine contains either an inactivated virus, meaning the virus is no longer infectious, or a particle designed to look like a flu virus to your immune system.

    Were already protecting ourselves from COVID-19 by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and paying attention to hand hygiene. To make sure youre protected this flu season, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor and/or pediatrician to get flu shots for you and your family.

    Steven Mizek is a social media specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

    The Types Of Flu Vaccine Available

    Why it

    There are several types of flu vaccine. You will be offered one that is most effective for you, depending upon your age, from the following:

    • children aged 2 to 17 are offered a live vaccine as a nasal spray. The live viruses have been weakened so it cannot give you flu
    • adults aged 18 to 64 are offered an injectable vaccine. It is an inactivated vaccine that does not contain any live viruses and cannot give you flu. There are different types available depending on how they were manufactured
    • adults aged 65 and over are offered an injected vaccine. It is an inactivated vaccine that does not contain any live viruses and cannot give you flu. Usually, you will be offered one that contains an adjuvant that helps the immune system create a stronger response to the vaccine. It is offered to people in this age group because as people age their immune system responds less well to vaccines

    If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they will be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under the age of 2. Some children over the age of 2 who are in a high-risk group will also need to have an injected vaccine if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.

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    Natural Immunity > Vaccine Immunity

    The truth is that the dangers of acquiring natural immunity FAR outweigh any relative benefits. Take measles for example. If you contract measles, that means you face a 1 in 500 chance of death, while the number of people who have had severe allergic reactions from an MMR vaccine is less than 1 in a million. This is not the way to go.

    Getting 2 Flu Vaccines May Be Necessary For Some Kids

    For adults, getting one vaccine per year works to build up enough antibodies to fight off the flu. However, “unlike adults, most children do not have any pre-existing immunity to influenza,” Haynes says. For this reason, kids under the age of eight may need to get two vaccines to make up for their low antibody levels.

    Children who have never gotten a flu vaccine before or who have had only one vaccine in the past should get two flu shots for the current flu season. The two shots should be given at least four weeks apart.

    If a child needs two vaccines, it’s best to get the first shot around early September, as the protection against flu won’t begin until two weeks after the second vaccine. If you aren’t sure if your child needs two vaccines, ask your pediatrician.

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    Why Is The Flu Vaccine Important

    Most people who get the flu have a mild illness. But for some, it can be serious and even deadly. Serious complications from the flu are more likely in babies and young children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with certain long-term health conditions like diabetes or asthma.

    Getting vaccinated every year is the best way to lower your chances of getting the flu. Flu vaccines cant cause the flu. Keep in mind that getting the flu vaccine also protects the people around you. So when you and your family get vaccinated, you help keep yourselves and your community healthy.

    This is especially important if you spend time with people who are at risk for serious illness from the flu like young children or older adults. Learn more about how vaccines help protect your whole community.

    The flu is caused by a virus. Common symptoms of the flu include:

    • Fever and chills
    • Headache
    • Feeling very tired

    Some people with the flu may throw up or have diarrhea this is more common in children than adults. Its also important to know that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.

    The flu is worse than the common cold. Its a common cause of problems like sinus or ear infections. It can also cause serious complications like:

    • Pneumonia
    • Worsening of long-term health problems, like asthma or heart failure
    • Inflammation of the brain, heart, or muscles
    • Multi-organ failure

    The flu is contagious, meaning it can spread from person to person. The flu can spread when:

    Can The Vaccines Cause The Flu

    Healthy Living: Why Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever in 2020

    If youre concerned your kids could get the flu from a vaccine, you arent alone. Fortunately, the vaccines dont cause the flu.

    The viruses used in the shot are killed , meaning there is no whole virus in the vaccine. The nasal spray vaccine does contain live flu strains, but they are too weak to cause the flu.

    Learn more about childhood vaccination myths debunked.

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    How Is The Flu Vaccine Made

    In February and September each year, the World Health Organization holds a conference with leading experts and influenza centres worldwide to make recommendations about the composition of the next seasons flu vaccine. After the September conference, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee meet with the Therapeutic Goods Administration to confirm which strains will be included in the Australian flu vaccine. The vaccine funded for the National Immunisation Program contains the two most common strains of both Influenza A and Influenza B.

    The vaccines then need to be made. This is a long, time-consuming process, which requires large amounts of each virus strain needing to be created to make enough vaccine doses.

    Once that is done, its time to book your shot, and roll up your sleeves.

    14 July 2021

    Flu Vaccination Reduces Hospitalization And Death

    The flu shot has been found to keep people, especially the elderly and very young, from getting dangerously ill from the seasonal virus, Kuritzkes said.

    The flu vaccine is recommended for children as young as 6 months, because influenza causes significant disease in younger children, he said. Theyre also vectors in the spread to older and other vulnerable populations.

    Health officials estimate that 80% of flu deaths among young children occur in those who are not vaccinated.

    The elderly are also at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 70% and 85% of flu-related deaths annually occur in people 65 years and older. Between 50% and 70% of flu-related hospitalizations are also among people in this age group.

    Other high-risk groups include people with chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, cancer and heart disease, along with pregnant people.

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    Who Should Not Get A Flu Shot

    Children younger than six months old and people with certain health conditions should not get a flu shot, the CDC advises.

    These health conditions include:

    • A severe allergic reaction to a previous flu shot. According to a 2016 study, for every one million flu shots given, there were about 1.3 severe allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, shortness of breath, or vomiting.
    • Egg allergies. Although the most common flu vaccine contains viruses grown in eggs, people with mild allergic symptoms like hives can safely get it, according to the CDC. If you have a severe allergy, two egg-free flu vaccines are available. You can also get a regular flu shot as long as it’s in a medical setting such as a doctor’s office or clinic, and is supervised by a health care provider who can treat an anaphylactic reaction.
    • A fever. If you have a fever over 99.5°F, you might want to wait to get a flu shot. Your immune system is already producing antibodies to fight infection, so the vaccine may not be as effective. However, if you have a cold with no fever, it’s safe to get a flu shot.
    • This is a rare neurological disorder that causes your immune system to damage your nerve cells. Its exact cause is unknown, but it often develops after a respiratory illness or the flu. It is very rare to get GBS after a flu shot, according to the CDC. If you already have GBS, talk to your doctor before getting a flu shot.

    Why We Need New Flu Vaccines Every Year

    The Dual Threat of Flu and COVID

    There are several reasons a new flu vaccine must be made each year.

    Flu viruses can change from year to year, so the vaccine is updated to protect against new virus strains that are expected to circulate in the U.S. The vaccine needs to include influenza virus strains that most closely match those in circulation for the influenza season. In addition, the protection provided by the flu vaccine a person received in the previous year will diminish over time and may be too low to prevent influenza disease into next years flu season.

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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.

    Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine

    The flu vaccine is a good idea for all families. It does not cause the flu and it helps keep kids and parents from getting sick. Getting the flu is worse than having a cold and can make a person sick for a week or more.

    Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated before the start of each flu season, with very few exceptions. Some people are more likely to get health problems from the flu, such as the elderly, pregnant women, infants, and people with medical conditions like asthma or diabetes. Getting a flu vaccine is especially important for them and for those who live with them.

    Babies younger than 6 months can’t get the vaccine. But they will be protected if their parents, other caregivers, and older kids in the household get it. This is important because infants who get the flu are more likely to have serious problems than older kids.

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    Why Does The Flu Vaccine Matter

    Along with protecting you from getting infected, it reduces the spread of the virus and the need for medical care. With some hospitals already spread thin because of the pandemic, there is a just as much of a community need to prevent illness as there is on an individual basis. There are surges in patient volume every winter because of the flu, and when those are combined with pandemic surges, that could mean it becomes harder to get care when you really need it.

    A strain on hospitals and clinics means a strain on patients and their families as well. Getting a flu vaccine is doing your part to stay healthy and keep our communities healthy.

    Why Is It Important To Get The Flu Shot This Year

    Why the flu vaccine is so important

    September 22, 2020 by Diabetes Care

    Its always a good idea to get a flu shot, to protect yourself and those who you come in contact with. This year, in the face of COVID-19, its especially important that everyone particularly people with diabetes get the flu shot. Read on to learn about diabetes and the flu shot.

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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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