Can An Antibody Test Tell Me If I Need A Booster Shot
Not yet. There are two main reasons for this. First, scientists havent identified the exact level of antibodies you need to be protected, called an immune correlate of protection. To do this, theyd need to have access to blood samples taken from a vaccinated population almost immediately before an outbreak. Then, they can evaluate the number of antibodies in each blood sample and compare that to who got sick and how sick, while assuming that their exposure to disease was about the same.
Its taken some serendipity to discover this threshold for some other diseases. For example, finding this number for measles was a sort of convenient accident, explains Slifka. A measles outbreak in a mostly vaccinated population happened at Boston University in 1985, immediately after a blood drive. Using samples from the donated blood, researchers could compare the level of antibodies leftover from vaccination in each sample with who got sick and who didnt and find the level at which individuals lost protection.
Ii5 Choice Of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
The decision to include specific influenza vaccines as part of publicly funded provincial and territorial programs depends on several factors, such as cost-effectiveness evaluation and other programmatic and operational factors, such as implementation strategies. Not all products will be made available in all jurisdictions and availability of some products may be limited therefore, officials in individual provinces and territories should be consulted regarding the products available in individual jurisdictions.
With the availability of influenza vaccines that are designed to enhance immunogenicity in specific age groups or given through a different route of administration, the choice of product has become more complex.
Choice of influenza vaccine by age group
Recommendations for individual-level decision making
- NACI recommends that influenza vaccine should be offered annually to anyone 6 months of age and older who does not have contraindications to the vaccine. Table 2 provides age group-specific recommendations for the age-appropriate influenza vaccine types authorized for use in Canada.
Recommendations for public health program-level decision making
- NACI recommends that any of the age-appropriate influenza vaccine types available for use may be considered for people without contraindications to the vaccine. Table 2 provides age group-specific recommendations for the age-appropriate influenza vaccine types authorized in Canada.
Naci Influenza Working Group
Members: I Gemmill , L Cochrane, N Dayneka, R Harrison, K Klein, D Kumar, J Langley, J McElhaney, A McGeer, D Moore, S Smith, and B Warshawsky.
Former member: M Lavoie.
Liaison representatives: L Grohskopf .
Ex-officio representatives: C Bancej , P Wolfe-Roberge , and J Xiong .
Former ex-officio representative: K Watkins .
Also Check: How Long After Second Vaccine Is It Effective
The Jet Injector Method
Some sites that offer flu vaccination will offer a jet injection option sold under the brand name AFLURIA Quadrivalent. A jet injector uses a high-pressure, narrow stream of fluid to penetrate the skin instead of a hypodermic needle.
The injector method has typically been used to administer vaccines quickly to a large number of people, such as military recruits.
I havent seen it in use recently, says Conley, but apparently its coming back and its available in some places.
Philbrick stresses that the standard flu shot is going to be the easiest one to find and the availability of the other types may vary from location to location.
I think the important thing to note is that, currently, the CDC does not give preference to any one vaccine over the other, she says. If you look for an option, you should be able to find it eventually, but the most important thing is to settle on an option and get the vaccine.
The Nasal Spray Option
People who absolutely cant stand needles may be able to seek out a flu vaccine that can be administered via a nasal spray, notes the CDC. Sold under the brand name FluMist, this form is approved for healthy nonpregnant individuals, 2 through 49 years old.
The nasal vaccine is actually a little bit different from all the other vaccines in that other flu vaccines are inactivated they contain dead parts of the virus, whereas the intranasal one is a live attenuated vaccine, which means that it contains live virus that has kind of been weakened, so that the body can mount an immune response to that, says Philbrick.
She explains that the body simply will not mount an immune response to an inactivated vaccine that is administered intranasally.
Conway points out that the nasal vaccine was restricted for use in those under age 2 because they experienced some side effects such as wheezing.
As far as the restriction for those 50 and older, a spokesperson for FluMists manufacturer, AstraZeneca, says that Based on the clinical studies conducted and submitted for FDA review and approval, the effectiveness of FluMist Quadrivalent has not been established in people aged 50 and older.
Philbrick recommends the traditional flu shot as the method of choice, but if you absolutely cant do needles and otherwise would not get the flu vaccine, the nasal spray would be an appropriate alternative.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is The Shingrix Vaccine At Costco
Should I Worry About Catching Bird Flu
People in the United States have less to fear than people who live abroad. Most of the illnesses associated with bird flu have been reported in Asian countries among people who have had close contact with farm birds. Also, people are not able to catch the bird flu virus by eating cooked chicken, turkey, or duck. High temperatures kill the virus.
Iv5 Additional Vaccine Safety Considerations
Influenza vaccine is safe and well tolerated. Contraindications, precautions, and common AEs are described in Section II. Additional information regarding egg-allergic individuals and GBS is provided below.
After careful review of clinical and post-licensure safety data, NACI has concluded that egg-allergic individuals may be vaccinated against influenza using any appropriate product, including LAIV, without prior influenza vaccine skin test and with the full dose, irrespective of a past severe reaction to egg and without any particular consideration, including vaccination setting. The amount of trace ovalbumin allowed in influenza vaccines that are authorized for use in Canada is associated with a low risk of AE. The observation period post-vaccination is as recommended in Vaccine Safety in Part 2 of the CIG. As with all vaccine administration, vaccine providers should be prepared with the necessary equipment, knowledge, and skills to respond to a vaccine emergency at all times.
Refer to the Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2018-2019 for safety data supporting this recommendation for IIV and LAIV.
Don’t Miss: Is It A Hipaa Violation To Ask About Vaccine
What Is Type A Flu Virus
Type A flu or influenza A viruses are capable of infecting animals, although it is more common for people to suffer the ailments associated with this type of flu. Wild birds commonly act as the hosts for this flu virus.
Type A flu virus is constantly changing and is generally responsible for the large flu epidemics. The influenza A2 virus is spread by people who are already infected. The most common flu hot spots are those surfaces that an infected person has touched and rooms where they have been recently, especially areas where they have been sneezing.
Complications From Smallpox Vaccine
Serious adverse reactions and complications from smallpox vaccine can result in death in rare cases . Based on historical data, the death rate following smallpox vaccination is approximately one death per million persons receiving an initial dose and one death per four million among persons receiving another dose after the first dose . Death has also occurred among non-vaccinated persons who had accidental contact with vaccination sites of vaccine recipients . Reactions that can cause or contribute to death include eczema vaccinatum, progressive vaccinia, postvaccinal encephalitis, myocarditis, and dilated cardiomyopathy. Additionally, vaccination of pregnant women can cause fetal infection resulting in stillbirth or infant death . Patients should be carefully screened for precautions and contraindications prior to receipt of smallpox vaccine . In 2008, a new smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000 replaced the previously used vaccine Dryvax®. The data indicate that ACAM2000 has a similar safety profile to Dryvax® . Naturally occurring smallpox disease has been eliminated worldwide, and in the United States, smallpox vaccine is currently only given to military personnel and selected individuals that might be at high risk of exposure, such as laboratory scientists that work with smallpox or similar viruses .
You May Like: Can Tdap And Pneumococcal Vaccines Be Given Together
What Types Of Flu Vaccines Are There
Flu viruses are always changing. Each year’s flu vaccine is made to protect against viruses that are likely to cause disease that year. Ask your doctor whether or not a vaccine is safe for you and which one may be best for you.
Flu vaccines are made to work against more than one strain of flu. For example, a trivalent vaccine works against three strains, and a quadrivalent vaccine works against four strains of flu.
The vaccine is given as a shot or a nasal spray.
Quadrivalent Vaccines For Seasonal Flu
A quadrivalent flu vaccine administered by nasal mist was approved by the FDA in March 2012. Fluarix Quadrivalent was approved by the FDA in December 2012.
In 2014, the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization published a review of quadrivalent influenza vaccines.
Starting with the 2018-2019 influenza season most of the regular-dose egg-based flu shots and all the recombinant and cell-grown flu vaccines in the United States are quadrivalent. In the 2019â2020 influenza season all regular-dose flu shots and all recombinant influenza vaccine in the United States are quadrivalent.
In November 2019, the FDA approved Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent for use in the United States starting with the 2020-2021 influenza season.
In February 2020, the FDA approved Fluad Quadrivalent for use in the United States. In July 2020, the FDA approved both Fluad and Fluad Quadrivalent for use in the United States for the 2020â2021 influenza season.
Recommended Reading: How Long After 2nd Vaccine Are You Immune
Where To Get The Flu Vaccine
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
- a hospital appointment
If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.
- a learning disability
- problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
Talk to your doctor if you have a long-term condition that is not in one of these groups. They should offer you the flu vaccine if they think you’re at risk of serious problems if you get flu.
British Columbia Specific Information
Influenza, also called the flu, is an infection of the upper airway caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can include fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat or cough. The influenza vaccines protect against the viruses that cause influenza. To learn more about the flu and the flu vaccines, and to access flu-related information from your health authority, visit our Influenza Season health feature.
The symptoms of flu are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the common cold and COVID-19. Use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to find out if you or your family members need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. To learn more about the coronavirus, symptoms, how it spreads and prevention visit the Coronavirus health feature.
Also Check: What Type Of Vaccine Is Influenza
Flu Shots Are The Best Protection Available For Fighting The Flu
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. There are two main types of influenza virus: Types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.
The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinatedeach year.
Who should get vaccinated this season?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season with rare exception. CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-11 influenza season.
Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.
More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.
Myths And Facts About Influenza And Influenza Immunization
Myth: Influenza is not a serious illness.
Fact: In years when influenza is widespread in B.C., hundreds of people may die from influenza or its complications, such as pneumonia. Influenza can lead to serious illness in seniors 65 years and older and in other high risk groups.
Myth: I have never had influenza, so I do not need to get an influenza vaccine.
Fact: Most people can get sick with influenza several times during their lives. An influenza vaccine is the best protection against the influenza virus.
Myth: The influenza vaccines can give me influenza.
Fact: The inactivated influenza vaccine cannot give you influenza. The vaccine contains killed influenza viruses that cannot cause infection.
The live attenuated influenza vaccine given as a nasal spray contains weakened influenza viruses. Common reactions to the live vaccine include mild symptoms such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat and fever. These symptoms are less severe than those from influenza infection and last a shorter time.
As a precaution, people with weakened immune systems should not get the live vaccine.
Myth: The influenza vaccines cause severe reactions or side effects.
Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a rare condition that can result in weakness and paralysis of the bodys muscles. It most commonly occurs after infections. In rare cases, GBS can also occur after some vaccines. GBS may be associated with influenza vaccine in about 1 per million recipients.
Don’t Miss: Is Meningitis Vaccine Required For College
Conjugate Vaccine Carrier Proteins
Protein conjugates used in Hib conjugate vaccines produced in the United States include tetanus toxoid which is also used as a component of DTaP and Tdap vaccines . Simultaneous or sequential vaccination with Hib and these tetanus-toxoid containing vaccines is recommended when both are indicated . MCV4 and PCV13 both contain diphtheria-toxoid conjugates. There has been concern about simultaneous administration of vaccines containing like conjugates. One brand of MCV4, MenACWY-D , demonstrates reduced immunogenicity of the antibody response to Streptococcal pneumonia strains when administered simultaneously with PCV13 compared with separate administration. It is recommended to space these vaccines by 28 days in a person with anatomic asplenia . Simultaneous or sequential vaccination of MCV4-CRM , PCV13, and Tdap , all of which contain diphtheria toxoid, is not associated with reduced immunogenicity or increase in local adverse events.
Is The Flu Vaccine Effective
The flu vaccine has been shown to be effective against laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza. Immunization has shown to reduce the number of physician visits, hospitalizations and deaths among those at highest risk of influenza and its complications, including:
- people 65 years of age and older
- residents of personal care homes or long-term care facilities
- children six to 59 months of age
- individuals with a chronic health condition
- pregnant individuals
- health care workers and first responders
- regular caregivers of children up to five years of age
- household contacts of anyone at highest risk including those with infants under six months of age and/or expecting a newborn and
- Indigenous people.
Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary each year. It depends on how closely the circulating strains match the strains that are in the vaccine. No medical intervention is 100 per cent effective but being immunized against the flu is the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu. It is better than not being immunized at all and having no protection, and will help lessen the severity of flu symptoms should you happen to still get sick with the flu.
You May Like: Who Has The Cheapest Shingles Vaccine
Annual Selection Of Viruses
The composition of influenza vaccines are updated annually by WHO based on information gathered from the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System , a partnership of 141 national influenza centres in 111 countries, 6 WHO collaborating centres and 4 WHO essential regulatory laboratories.
The WHO GISRS collects and analyses influenza virus samples from around the world on an ongoing basis. Each year, 1 or more components of the vaccine designated for the coming influenza season in the northern and/or southern hemisphere might be changed to reflect the most frequent and recent circulating influenza A and B viruses.
Interchangeability Of Combination Vaccines From Different Manufacturers
Licensure of a vaccine by FDA does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine is interchangeable with products from other manufacturers. Such data are ascertained and interpreted more readily for diseases with known correlates of protective immunity . For diseases without such surrogate laboratory markers, prelicensure field vaccine efficacy trials or postlicensure surveillance generally are required to determine protection . ACIP prefers that doses of vaccine in a series come from the same manufacturer however, if this is not possible or if the manufacturer of doses given previously is unknown, providers should administer the vaccine that they have available.
Also Check: How Many Americans Are Fully Vaccinated
The Best Flu Vaccine For People Over 65
As we get older, our immune systems have a harder time responding to illnesses and vaccines. To help provide better protection, there are a few recommended options for older adults this year:
Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent also known as the high-dose flu shot
If one of these three vaccines isnt available, you should still get vaccinated with another flu vaccine thats FDA-approved for your age range. All flu vaccines are effective against the flu. Its better to be vaccinated than to try to wait for a particular flu vaccine to become available.