Flu Vaccines For Older Adults
Age is an important factor to consider, as different vaccines are approved for different age groups. If youre 65 years or older, any flu vaccine approved for your age group is fine. But you may have heard about a high-dose flu shot.
One high-dose flu vaccine Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent contains a higher dose of virus antigen. It is meant to give a better immune response against the flu to people over the age of 65 . This flu vaccine provides better protection against hospitalization than the regular dose. However, its not the only recommended flu vaccine for older adults.
Currently, the CDC recommends people over 65 be vaccinated with one of the following flu vaccines every year:
A high-dose flu vaccine
An adjuvant flu vaccine
A recombinant flu vaccine
Its important to note that if one of these flu vaccines is unavailable, you should still get vaccinated with another approved vaccine for your age group. All flu vaccines will provide protection regardless of your age.
Types Of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
Two types of influenza vaccine are widely available: inactivated influenza vaccines and live attenuated influenza vaccines . Traditionally, influenza vaccines have been produced to protect against 3 different seasonal influenza viruses . In most countries this is still the case and the current trivalent vaccines contain influenza A, pandemic A and 1 of 2 influenza B lineage viruses. However, recently vaccines which protect against 4 different viruses, including both influenza B lineage viruses , have become available in some countries.
Regardless of the type or composition of seasonal influenza vaccine, vaccination should be administered annually to provide optimal protection against infection.
Do I Need To Get The Flu Vaccine Every Year
The flu vaccine is needed every year for two reasons.
The first is that your bodys immune response to influenza decreases over time. Receiving the vaccine every year helps you have continued protection.
The second reason is that the influenza virus is constantly changing. This means that the viruses that were prevalent in the previous flu season may not be in the upcoming season.
The flu vaccine is updated every year to include protection against the influenza viruses most likely to circulate in the upcoming flu season. A seasonal flu shot is the most effective protection.
recommends that children over 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. Children under 6 months old are too young to receive the vaccine.
Flu vaccine side effects in babies are similar to those in adults. They may include:
- low-grade fever
- muscle aches
- soreness at the injection site
Some children between ages 6 months and 8 years may need two doses. Ask your childs doctor how many doses your child needs.
Pregnant women should get the flu vaccine every year. Changes in your immune system during pregnancy lead to an increased risk of severe illness or hospitalization due to influenza.
Both the and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend pregnant women get the seasonal flu shot in any trimester of pregnancy.
While additional studies need to be completed to investigate this concern, both the
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Can The Flu Vaccine Give Me The Flu
A common worry is that the flu vaccine can give you the flu. This isnt possible.
The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated form of the influenza virus or virus components that cant cause infection. Some individuals do experience side effects that will typically go away in a day or so. These include:
- low-grade fever
Allergic Reactions To The Flu Vaccine
It’s very rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine. If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
Anyone can report a suspected side effect of a vaccine through the Yellow Card Scheme.
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Flu Vaccine Ingredients: The Strains
Every year, vaccine developers take virus samples from labs across the world and mix and match them. This years vaccine relies on four viruses this is called a quadrivalent vaccine. The four viruses in the vaccine are somewhat different for the three different types of flu vaccines, which are egg-based , recombinant, and egg-free.
Those viruses are
First, lets break down the terminology: A refers to the type of influenza that infects birds, humans, pigs, horses, seals, and dogs H#N# refers to the different proteins found in the outer shell of the virus pdm is short for pandemic and 09 is the year of said pandemic .
This years Apdm09 component is different for flu vaccines that are egg-based compared to those that are cell-based and recombinant-based. For egg-based vaccines, the component changed from an A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 pdm09-like virus to an A/Victoria/2570/2019pdm09-like virus. That means a flu strain akin to the one seen in the 2009 pandemic that was created in 2019 in a lab in Victoria is replacing the strain created in 2019 in the Maonan district of Guangdong.
For cell-based and recombinant vaccines, the component changed from an A/Hawaii/70/2019 pdm09-like virus to an A/Wisconsin/588/2019 pdm09-like virus.
The second component is a variant of the 2009 H1N1 swine flu. H3N2 was first found in pigs in 2010, then in humans in 2011. The biggest human outbreak was in 2012 with some 309 reported cases.
Rapid Response To Pandemic Flu
The rapid development, production, and distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines could potentially save millions of lives during an influenza pandemic. Due to the short time frame between identification of a pandemic strain and need for vaccination, researchers are looking at novel technologies for vaccine production that could provide better “real-time” access and be produced more affordably, thereby increasing access for people living in low- and moderate-income countries, where an influenza pandemic may likely originate, such as live attenuated technology and recombinant technologies . As of July 2009, more than seventy known clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing for pandemic influenza vaccines. In September 2009, the FDA approved four vaccines against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus , and expected the initial vaccine lots to be available within the following month.
In January 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Audenz as a vaccine for the H5N1 flu virus. Audenz is a vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of disease caused by the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine. Audenz is approved for use in persons six months of age and older at increased risk of exposure to the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine.
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Will There Be Flu Along With Covid
While its not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, CDC believes its likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever. CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.
Find Out Exactly Whats In The Flu Shot For 2021
Theres been a lot of talk about vaccines and vaccine ingredients lately thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine. And now that flu season upon us, its only natural to wonder about whats in your flu vaccine, too.
Like the COVID-19 vaccines, there are several types of seasonal flu vaccines. Some are egg-based, for example, while others are egg-free. There are also differences between the flu shot and nasal mist, and small nuances with high-dose flu vaccines and regular vaccines. For this flu season, the Food and Drug Administration has released nine different lots of the flu vaccine, and each is slightly different with its own ingredients. Still, they have a lot in common.
The flu vaccines are very similar in their general composition, says infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. However, some use different technologies.
Sowhats in your seasonal flu vaccine and why? Experts break it down.
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Flu Vaccine Side Effects
Side effects of the flu vaccine are usually mild and go away without treatment in a few days. Common side effects include:
- Soreness, redness, and swelling where the shot was given
- Muscle aches
Rarely, allergic reactions occur, often within minutes of the vaccine being administered. If you experience swelling, racing heart or trouble breathing, seek medical attention immediately. Extremely rarely a person may develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease.
Still Getting The Flu
Sometimes you can get the flu shot and still come down with the flu. It takes around 2 weeks after receiving the vaccination for your body to develop immunity. During this time, you can still get catch the flu.
Another reason why you can still catch the flu is if there wasnt a good vaccine match. Researchers need to decide which strains to include in the vaccine many months before flu season actually starts.
When theres not a good match between the selected strains and the strains that actually end up circulating during flu season, the vaccine isnt as effective.
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What Is A Flu Vaccine
Influenza vaccines are vaccines that protect against the four influenza viruses that research indicates most common during the upcoming season. Most flu vaccines are flu shots given with a needle, usually in the arm, but there also is also a nasal spray flu vaccine.
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
- 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:
- 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:
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How Is The Flu Vaccine Given
- Kids younger than 9 years old will get two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 1 month apart, if they’ve had fewer than two doses before July 2019. This includes kids who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time.
- Those younger than 9 who had at least two doses of flu vaccine will only need one dose.
- Kids older than 9 need only one dose of the vaccine.
Talk to your doctor about how many doses your child needs.
How Is The Flu Shot Made
Tran: Vaccine developers use three different types of processes to make flu shots.
Currently, most influenza vaccines are made using an egg-based process. Manufacturers use a fertilized chicken egg to grow whichever four strains of the virus the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decides will be dominant during the upcoming flu season. Manufacturers incubate the egg, allowing the virus to replicate, harvest the virus and then deactivate or weaken it before adding it to a mass-produced injection. A second method uses an animal cell instead of egg cells.
The third process isolates the genes that have the instructions for making the target protein that your body’s immune system must identify. Those genes are combined with a different virus that infects invertebrates, such as worms and helps pass the genetic instructions to a host cell. These proteins are grown in bulk, purified and become so-called recombinant vaccines.
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Why You Need A Flu Vaccine In 2021
Experts are expecting the worst from the 2021-2022 flu season. Flu rates were unusually low last winter, in large part because most people were wearing masks, social distancing, and staying home when feeling sick to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from getting any worse. But with many people returning to society, and a good portion of them without masks, the flu season could come back with a vengeance this season. The early and strong return of RSV is one sign of this.
Without exposure to the flu last year, people may be more vulnerable than usual this season. Because of this, its crucial to get your flu shot.
If youve taken steps to prevent your kid from getting the coronavirus, youd be hypocritical not to do the same for the flu. So far, 655 children aged 17 and below have died from COVID in 2020 and 2021 combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . In comparison, 199 kids were reported to the CDC to have died from flu during the 2018-2019 flu season alone, and statistical modelling suggests that 434 children may have actually died from the flu that season.
So if you worried at all about your kids during the pandemic, you should make sure they get the flu shot. You should get it too, because the flu kills thousands of adults aged 18-49 each year and sends tens of thousands to the hospital . Theres very little point in avoiding getting COVID during a global pandemic just to get knocked out by the seasonal flu.
Flu Vaccine For People With Long
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:
- 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.
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Who Should Avoid The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is very effective, but it isnt right for everyone.
Dont get the vaccine if youve had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient it contains, including egg protein.
You also should avoid the flu vaccine if youve had Guillain-Barré syndrome. In 1976, a swine flu vaccine was linked to an increased risk for Guillain-Barré, which causes the immune system to attack and damage the protective coating around nerve cells.
Guillain-Barré syndrome causes extreme weakness and tingling in the limbs, known as severe peripheral neuropathy. It can be life-threatening in rare cases.
Theres no clear link between the current flu vaccine and Guillain-Barré. If any risk exists, its very small, affecting about 1 out of every 1 million people vaccinated.
The vaccine also isnt recommended for babies under 6 months old because it hasnt been proven safe in infants.
Talk to your doctor if you have a weakened immune system, or if you take medicine to suppress your immune system. You may not respond as well to the vaccine.
If youre sick, you might want to put off the flu shot until you feel better.
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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During Past Flu Seasons
The CDC tracks seasonal flu vaccine effectiveness each year. Over the past 17 years, the highest effectiveness was in the 2010-2011 season when it was 60% effective.
Here are the effectiveness rates over the past five seasons for which data are available:
- 20152016: 48%
How Should I Prepare For My Flu Vaccination
Face masks are still required in health care settings. Please make sure you bring and properly wear a face mask to your flu vaccination appointment.
Flu shots are given in the upper arm muscle for young children and adults. Make sure your outfit is short-sleeved or has sleeves that are easy to roll up.
Infants and toddlers receive their flu shot in the upper thigh muscle. Consider dressing infants and toddlers in an outfit where the thigh is easily accessible.
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