Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Will Getting Two Flu Shots Hurt You

Must read

What Arm Should I Get My Flu Shot In

Freebies you can get when you get your flu shot

Dr. Mora recommends getting the flu shot in the arm you use the least. “That way if you are writing or doing day-to-day activities, you’re not aggravating the muscle even more,” she says.Some other ways to reduce pain include trying not to tense your arm while you’re being vaccinated and moving your arm after vaccination to increase blood flow and help disperse the vaccine throughout the area.

What’s In This Year’s Flu Vaccines

The composition of the 2021-2022 flu shot will be different from last season’s flu shot. Specifically, the two influenza A components of the flu shot differ from those in last year’s shot. In addition, all flu shots for the 2021-2022 season will be quadrivalent, meaning they will contain four strains of flu viruses.

According to the CDC, the 2021-2022 quadrivalent egg-based flu shot will contain the following strains of the flu virus:

  • A/Victoria/2570/2019 pdm09-like virus This H1N1 component differs from last year’s flu shot.
  • A/Cambodia/e0826360/2020 -like virus This is the H3N2 component that is different from last year’s flu shot.
  • B/Washington/02/2019- like virus This influenza B strain component is the same as the one in last year’s shot.
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus This influenza B strain component was also in last year’s shot.

Then, there are two types of flu vaccines that dont involve eggs: cell-based and recombinant-based flu vaccines. In cell-based flu vaccines, the inactivated flu virus is grown in cultured cells from mammals rather than in hens eggs. And recombinant flu vaccines are created synthetically. To make this type of vaccine, scientists combine a lab-made antigen specific to the flu virus with a baculovirus .

When Should You Get A Flu Shot

Exactly when the flu season starts and ends is unpredictable, so health officials recommend that people get their flu shot in early fall, preferably by the end of October, the CDC says. The same recommendation applies this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Flu activity typically peaks in January or February.

“We’d like to get as many people protected against influenza before influenza becomes active in communities across the country,” Schaffner said.

Most flu vaccines are given before Thanksgiving, Schaffner said, but people can still get their shot throughout the winter months. Each season’s flu shot expires in June of that year, but Schaffner said that he would consider it “too late” to get a flu vaccine after March, unless a person is traveling to the Southern Hemisphere .

After vaccination, it takes a person about two weeks to build up immunity against the flu.

People can visit the CDC’s VaccineFinder.org to find flu shot locations.

Also Check: Is The Flu Shot Good To Get

What You Need To Know About The 2021

While no one knows for sure just how bad the upcoming flu season will be, heres some flu information we know so far:

  • The 2020-2021 flu season wasunusually mildcompared to whats been seen in past years. This could be due to multiple factors, including higher flu vaccination rates during 2020 and the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on social distancing and hand washing. Experts are not sure if this will be the case again for the 2021-2022 flu season.

  • Flu transmission rates in other countries are lower than usual so far this year. The World Health Organization meets twice a year in February and September to review flu activity around the world and recommend which strains to include in the flu vaccine. Flu transmission in the Southern Hemisphere countries like Australia can help predict what the U.S. flu season might be like. Australia had a record low number of cases of the flu during 2021. Hopefully, that means we will too.

  • Even though the flu vaccine doesnt protect against all strains of the flu, its still recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. The flu vaccine is typically about 40% to 60% effective, and its hard to predict if the current flu vaccines will be a good match for the strains going around. But its still one of the best ways to help prevent getting sick with the flu.

What To Know About Flu Shots For Older Adults

6 Reasons You Should Get the Flu Shot

Q: Is the flu vaccine effective for older adults?

A: You may have heard people say that the flu shot doesnt work in older people. This is not entirely correct.

Now, its true that flu vaccine is usually less effective in older adults because aging immune systems tend to not respond as vigorously to the vaccine. In other words, older adults tend to create fewer antibodies in response to vaccination. So if they are later exposed to flu virus, they have a higher chance of falling ill, compared to younger adults.

But less effective doesnt mean not at all effective. For the 2017-2018 flu season, the CDC estimates that vaccination prevented about 700,000 influenza cases and 65,000 hospitalizations, for adults aged 65 and older.

For more on the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in older adults, see:

To provide more effective vaccination to aging immune systems, vaccine makers have developed stronger vaccines against the flu, which I explain in the next section.

Q: Are there flu shots specifically designed for older adults?

Yes, over the past several years, vaccine makers have developed vaccines that are designed to work better with an aging immune system. Most research studies to date show that these stimulate aging immune systems to produce more antibodies to influenza. Theres also some evidence that these vaccines reduce the risk of being hospitalized for influenza.

You May Like: When Do I Need A Flu Shot

Is Moderna Working On Other Covid Vaccine Boosters

On Monday, Moderna’s Hoge said with its current 50-microgram COVID booster authorized by the Food and Drug Adminstration, you get “quite respectable” protection. The company contines to study an omicron-specific vaccine and an multivaliant vaccine that could protect against other variants, including the alpha and delta strains in case either is needed. The company said it is also studying a 100-microgram version of its booster that can raise antibody protection 83 fold.

Hoge said Moderna could have new versions of its vaccine ready early in 2022 but is not planning to ask the CDC and FDA to amend its booster authorization for the 100-microgram trial version of its booster.

Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine

Health experts recommend the flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and older.

Until recently, doctors recommended that kids with an egg allergy not get the flu vaccine because it’s grown inside eggs. But now health experts say that because there’s only a tiny bit of egg protein in the vaccine, it’s safe even for people with a severe egg allergy.

Still, if you have an egg allergy, you should get your vaccine in your doctor’s office, not at a supermarket or drugstore.

Recommended Reading: Osom Rapid Flu Test Instructions

Would Two Flu Shots Protect Me Better Than One

Booster doses can make the flu vaccine more effective, but the benefit is limited to a few specific groups.

  • Read in app
  • Send any friend a story

    As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

    Give this article

Q. Would two flu shots protect me better than one?

A. Booster doses can make the flu vaccine more effective, but the benefit is limited to a few specific groups.

Children are one group that may benefit from receiving two doses of influenza vaccine during the same flu season. In a multistate study, boosting increased vaccine effectiveness by nearly twofold in children 6 months to 8 years of age. The benefit was greatest among infants receiving their first influenza vaccinations and was still evident in subsequent flu seasons. Other studies have yielded similar results.

Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season.

Pandemic flu, a worldwide epidemic caused by genetic variations of the influenza virus, is another situation in which booster dosing may be worthwhile, since our immune systems are not primed to mount a response to the new virus. But vaccination strategies are complex and must be guided by governmental health agencies. Simply taking two doses of the currently available vaccine will not be protective.

Flu Shot Side Effects : What’s Normal And What’s Cause For Concern

Good Question: When Should You Get Your Flu Shot?

All vaccines have the potential to cause side effects, and that includes your yearly flu shot. But most are totally normal.

The coronavirus is still a very real concern this fall, but so is the influenza virus, aka the flu. The good news is we have very safe and effective tools for fighting and preventing both potentially deadly viruses, thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines and the flu vaccine.

According to the CDC, flu shots are safe and one of the best ways to keep from getting and spreading the flu to others. And people who get vaccinated and get sick anyway often experience less severe symptoms. If you’re thinking of getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu, the CDC says it is safe to get both vaccines together .

The simple fact is, flu vaccines can save lives. There are plenty of myths out there about the flu vaccine, such as the idea that it can give you the flu. While that’s not true, you can experience some side effects from the flu shot. The side effects are usually mild and nothing to worry about, but it’s important to know about them so you’re not worried when you get your vaccine.

Below, Dr. Carmen Teague, specialty medical director at Atrium Health‘s Mecklenburg Medical Group shares what you need to know about common flu shot side effects that are normal, and which side effects may be a sign of something more serious.

Our Health & Wellness newsletter puts the best products, updates and advice in your inbox.

Also Check: Tylenol Cold And Flu Medication

Are There Any Side Effects

Like the first and second rounds of vaccines, side effects can vary from person to person.

The most common ones reported are muscle and joint pain in the arm it was injected into, a fever and chills, fatigue, feeling sick, and a slight headache.

People may also experience diarrhoea, vomiting, a decreased appetite and feeling extremely weak, those these side effects are slightly rarer.

However, the NHS advises that most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week.

It says that if recipients begin to suffer from a high temperature or feel hot in the days after your vaccination you can take paracetamol or other painkillers when necessary, and should call 111 if symptoms worsen.

You should not suffer from a high temperature that lasts for more than two days, a new continuous cough or differences in your senses of smell or taste from getting your booster jab.

If you begin to experience these symptoms, you might have Covid-19 and are advised to stay at home and get a test.

More from News

The NHS advises that you cannot catch coronavirus from having your booster vaccine, but may have caught it just before or after getting the jab.

Some people may experience rare, more complex side effects after their booster jab such as allergic reactions, blood clotting, and heart inflammation or myocarditis.

What Are The Benefits Of The Flu Vaccination

Getting the flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting the flu.

  • You are likely to have fewer sick days and fewer days away from work or school.
  • Even if you still catch the flu despite having the vaccination, your symptoms are likely to be milder.
  • Having a flu vaccine every year can keep older people healthy and active for longer.
  • If you are pregnant, it protects you and your baby against the flu.
  • Even if you don’t feel sick, without the vaccine you could still be infected with the flu and pass it on to others.

Also Check: What Does The Doctor Give For The Flu

Can I Get The Flu From The Flu Vaccine

No. The virus thats in the flu vaccine is either dead or for FluMist Quadrivalent extremely weak. Because of this, flu vaccines are unable to cause the flu. However, some people experience flu-like symptoms in the days that follow their vaccine. These are side effects of the flu vaccine, and its a sign your immune system is learning how to fight the flu virus.

After your flu vaccine, you may experience:

  • A sore, red, or swollen arm

  • A headache

  • Muscle aches

  • Tiredness

Remember, these are expected side effects and dont mean youre getting sick with the flu. They should go away within a few days.

Unfortunately, its still possible to get sick with the flu after youve received your flu vaccine. It takes about 2 weeks after your vaccine for your immune system to protect you fully. So its possible to catch the flu during that time. And as mentioned earlier, flu vaccine effectiveness isnt perfect. Its also possible to get sick with a strain that wasnt included in the vaccine.

How Do I Get The Flu Vaccine

What You Need to Know About the Flu Shot for Seniors

Contact your midwife or GP surgery to find out where you can get the flu vaccine. It’s a good idea to get vaccinated as soon as possible after the vaccine becomes available in September.

In some areas, midwives can give the flu vaccine at the antenatal clinic. In others, you will need an appointment at a GP surgery.

Some community pharmacies now offer the flu vaccine on the NHS.

Don’t Miss: Which Cold And Flu Medicine Is Best

Whats New And Resources For The 2021

The CDC maintains a page dedicated to the current flu season. There is a section for the public and also a section for providers. This is a good place to get up-to-date information on influenza and influenza vaccination. You can find it here:

Note that the CDCs Flu FAQ page currently includes lots of information about influenza and COVID-19, such as how to tell them apart, why its safe to be vaccinated for both at the same time, and more.

The CDC also provides information specific to older adults here:

Can The Flu Shot Trigger A Harmful Immune Reaction

Although its an extremely uncommon reaction to the flu vaccine, a very small number of individuals may develop Guillain-Barré syndrome , a rare disorder in which the bodys immune system attacks nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.

The CDC estimates that the risk of GBS after vaccination is fewer than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated.

Its incredibly rare, so its not something that I worry about, says Ann Philbrick, PharmD, an associate professor at the University of Minnesotas College of Pharmacy in Minneapolis. But it can be a paralyzing disease, so it is certainly something severe enough to mention.

The Mayo Clinic notes that most people recover from GBS, and several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. The mortality rate is between 4 and 7 percent.

GBS can also occur after illness from the flu itself, the CDC notes. And, although it is also very rare, GBS is more common following flu illness than flu vaccination.

Ultimately, the potential side effects of a flu shot are nothing compared with the damage the virus itself can inflict.

Respiratory viruses like flu and COVID can really do a number on society, says Conway. Anything we can do to maintain community immunity and prevent any unnecessary death and destruction is really important.

Additional reporting by .

Recommended Reading: Valid Reasons To Decline Flu Vaccine

Why Are Pregnant Women Advised To Have The Flu Vaccine

The flu jab will help protect both you and your baby.

There is good evidence that pregnant women have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy.

One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia.

If you have flu while you’re pregnant, it could cause your baby to be born prematurely or have a low birthweight, and may even lead to stillbirth or death.

What’s New With The 2021

Can the flu vaccine reduce COVID-19 infection risk and severity?

There are many types of flu virusesand each consistently changes. This means that the U.S. flu vaccines are reviewed every year to prevent against the currently circulating flu viruses. This year’s vaccines are all “quadrivalent,” according to the CDC, meaning they’re designed to protect against four different viruses that cause the flu.

Recommended Reading: Can You Exercise After Flu Shot

Is The Moderna Covid

All booster shots will be free, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. However, depending on where you get your booster shot — for example, at a local pharmacy — you may be asked to log your insurance status. You may be asked to provide your insurance card information, including your name, date of birth and membership number. You will not be charged for your COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.

Why A Little Bit Of Arm Pain Is Necessary Each Year

Even if you received a flu shot in a previous year, you should still protect yourself with a new vaccination this year. This is because the vaccine is developed based on the specific flu strains scientists expect to be the most dangerous this year. Doctors recommend getting vaccinated in fall, but it is never too late to get the flu shot. Getting it late is better than not at all.

Don’t Miss: What Medication Should You Take For The Flu

More articles

Popular Articles