The First Us Influenza Vaccine Is Approved
This whole-virus, inactivated influenza A and B vaccine was first tested in military recruits and college students before it received approval for military use in the United States. A year later, it was approved for civilian use, as well. At right, schoolchildren wait in line for immunization shots at a child health station in New York City, circa 1946.
There are four types of influenza virusA, B, C and Dbut only the A and B types are thought to cause viral epidemics in humans, according to the CDC.
Making Sure The Vaccine Is Safe
The most important question about a pandemic flu vaccine is whether it will be safe. Unfortunately, like nearly everything about flu bugs, safety can’t be guaranteed 100%.
What’s reassuring is that there’s been no safety issue with previous H1N1 flu vaccines. We take them every year. There are rare adverse events, but the benefit of vaccination far outweighs this small risk.
Safety tests will be performed on the new vaccines. But there won’t be a lot of time to see what happens in the long term. If the vaccines seem relatively safe — that is, if they don’t seem harmful in the first weeks after they’re administered — they’ll be rolled out on a massive scale. That means relatively rare side effects will be seen only after millions of people are vaccinated.
The last time the nation faced something called swine flu was in 1976. That’s when a flu of swine origin struck an army base, triggering fears of a pandemic. A vaccine was rushed into production. Manufacturers demanded that the government indemnify them against possible injury claims, making the public wary before vaccination even began.
It’s still not clear why a rare but serious neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome hit those vaccinated in 1976 at a higher-than-expected rate. But after some 44 million Americans received the vaccine, safety fears scuttled the vaccination program — and gave “swine flu vaccine” a bad name that still lingers in the American psyche.
Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
It can save lives by:
- protecting you, if you’re exposed to the virus
- preventing you from getting very sick
- protecting people close to you:
- because you’re less likely to spread the virus
- who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.
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Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccines
In the period 1935-1941, the first clinical trials involving live attenuated influenza vaccines were conducted. The efficacy of these seasonal vaccines was guaranteed by the correspondence between the circulating strain and the strain contained in the vaccine and by the virus dose grown in hen egg embryos .
In 1944, Stanley described in detail the preparation and properties of an influenza virus vaccine produced in embryonated hen eggs this vaccine was concentrated and purified by means of differential centrifugation and inactivated by means of various procedures .
In 1949, an important change in vaccine development involved the introduction of the use of cell cultures for virus growth.
In 1997,the so-called “avian flu” pandemic broke out in Hong Kong. This was caused by influenza virus A/ H5N1, a highly pathogenic strain.
In order to contain this pandemic, the techniques of genetic rearrangement developed in those years enabled a huge number of vaccine doses to be produced in a short time by applying recombinant DNA technology to the influenza A/H5N1 virus .
Flu Vaccine And Coronavirus
Flu vaccination is important because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.
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Fighting The Spanish Flu
When the 1918 flu hit, doctors and scientists were unsure what caused it or how to treat it. Unlike today, there were no effective vaccines or antivirals, drugs that treat the flu.
Complicating matters was the fact that World War I had left parts of America with a shortage of physicians and other health workers. And of the available medical personnel in the U.S., many came down with the flu themselves.
Additionally, hospitals in some areas were so overloaded with flu patients that schools, private homes and other buildings had to be converted into makeshift hospitals, some of which were staffed by medical students.
Officials in some communities imposed quarantines, ordered citizens to wear masks and shut down public places, including schools, churches and theaters. People were advised to avoid shaking hands and to stay indoors, libraries put a halt on lending books and regulations were passed banning spitting.
According to The New York Times, during the pandemic, Boy Scouts in New York City approached people theyd seen spitting on the street and gave them cards that read: You are in violation of the Sanitary Code.
Flu Vaccine Side Effects
Flu vaccines are very safe. All adult flu vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.
Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as:
- slightly raised temperature
- muscle aches
- sore arm where the needle went in this is more likely to happen with the vaccine for people aged 65 and over
Try these tips to help reduce the discomfort:
- continue to move your arm regularly
- take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen some people, including those who are pregnant, should not take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends it
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What Is The Influenza Vaccine
Influenza vaccines are nasal sprays or injections currently composed either of live attenuated flu viruses or killed viruses or virus components that, when administered to individuals, generate an immune response that will be strong enough to protect that individual from developing influenza disease. The design of the vaccine depends on how health care providers usually administer it health care professionals usually administer the live attenuated vaccine by a nasal spray , while health care providers typically administer the killed virus by an intramuscular injection , usually into the deltoid muscle. People cannot get the flu from the injected vaccine because the vaccine contains no live virus. However, nasal sprays use attenuated viruses that, in some people , may cause mild flu-like symptoms. Note that health care providers previously did not recommend nasal sprays because of poor immune responses in people as compared to those who get the shots. However, in 2018, health care professionals approved the improved nasal sprays for use in some individuals .
Southern Hemisphere Influenza Season
The composition of virus vaccines for use in the 2018 Southern Hemisphere influenza season recommended by the World Health Organization on September 28, 2017, was:
- an A/Michigan/45/2015 pdm09-like virus
- an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 -like virus
- a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
The WHO recommended that quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses should contain the above three viruses and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
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The Russian Flu Pandemic Spreads
Technically considered the fourth pandemic of the 20th century , this outbreakwhich started in China and Russia but eventually spread worldwidemainly affected people under the age of 25.
Researchers would later theorize that an older H1N1 virus had mysteriously resurfaced, only impacting younger people who had never been exposed to it.
Flu Vaccine Turns 75 In 2020
While there is not yet an inoculation for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, effective seasonal influenza virus vaccines have been available for a full 75 years.
A global public health crisis has fast-tracked vaccine development for COVID-19 just as a pandemic more than a century ago brought the flu vaccine to fruition.
In 1918, about 500 million people, or one-fifth of the worlds population, became infected with the virus known as the Spanish flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The estimated 50 million deaths worldwide included about 675,000 in the United States.
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The 1918 Pandemic was the reason the military was so invested in getting a vaccine during World War II. They had seen what happened during World War I, said Catherine Troisi, Ph.D., infectious disease epidemiologist and an associate professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.
For the flu, annual vaccination is important because the viruses circulating will change from one season to the next.
FLU VACCINE TIMELINE
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Considerations For Getting A Covid
Its safe for your health care provider to administer a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. If youre 12 years of age or older, you may get the flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. You may also get it any time before or after you receive the flu shot.
For children aged 5 to 11, the National Advisory Council on Immunization recommends a 14-day interval between a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines. This is to help better monitor for possible side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Provinces and territories will decide on an interval for this age group as part of their vaccination programs.
Talk to a health care provider or consult your provincial or territorial public health authority for the latest guidance.
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What Are Indications For Flu Vaccines
The CDC recommends that anyone over 6 months of age be vaccinated against the flu. This is particularly important for certain people, including those who are at high risk of having serious seasonal flu-related complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious seasonal flu-related complications. During flu seasons when vaccine supplies are limited or delayed, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices makes recommendations regarding priority groups for vaccination. The most recent ACIP recommendations presented by the CDC for 2020-2021 are as follows:
There is a high-dose IM vaccine for people 65 and older .
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The Flu In Recent Years
Over time, Australia has become better at weathering each flu season. Government programs to improve accessibility to the flu vaccine for the elderly and young children ensure that more people are vaccinated. Growing acceptance of the flu vaccine and corporate programs to inoculate their workforce have also assisted in reducing the number of infected and annual deaths from the flu.
2017 Flu Deaths in Australia
Get your flu shot!
Avoiding the flu should be high on everyones agenda this flu season. Save yourself the wasted time and the days of feeling terrible with a simple jab right at the start of the season.
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.
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Who Will Want The Swine Flu Vaccine
A decision will be made whether to deploy pandemic swine flu vaccine for some or all U.S. residents. If that happens, the CDC will begin an intensive campaign to persuade people at high risk of flu complications to get vaccinated. The program will have to address issues of vaccine safety in a straightforward manner. “Public trust is crucial we risk it at our peril. If we risk public trust with bad vaccination decisions, it will take us years to recover,” Pavia warns.
“You are going to have less data than you want to make a decision on the go or no-go, but you are going to have to make it on the best available data at the time,” says Gellin. “The middle of September is where all this stuff theoretically converges. That is the point where at least we think we will have preliminary data to see how the vaccine is performing and say where are we with this epidemic and what is the situation.”
Two New Ways To Help Ease Flu Symptoms Become Available
Two antivirals, oseltamivir phosphate and zanamivir, were approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of influenza A and B. Both medications were shown to reduce such flu symptoms as fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose.
Prior to their approval, people suffering from the flu had to rely on over-the-counter drugs to help relieve their symptoms. Both of these medications require a physician’s prescription and are effective in patients who’ve been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours.
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But What Caused The Flu
A group in London lead by Wilson Smith, along with his colleagues Sir Christopher Andrewes and Sir Patrick Laidlaw, discovered the cause of flu. Nobody knew, until then, that it was a virus.
Soon after another virus was also identified, and named influenza B. This virus is also an important cause of disease in humans this season this virus is significant, and is known this year as Japanese Flu. Also this year, a variation of the influenza virus is causing significant problems across the world, and is known as Aussie Flu, or H3N2.
How Effective Is The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine gives the best protection against flu.
Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although there’s still a chance you might get flu.
If you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely to be milder and not last as long.
Having the flu vaccine will also stop you spreading flu to other people who may be more at risk of serious problems from flu.
It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work.
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Scientists Isolate The Human Influenza Virus
Influenza vaccine developmenta high priority for the U.S. military following the deaths of approximately one in every 67 soldiers from the flu during the 1918-1919 pandemictook a major step forward when researchers at the UK’s Medical Research Council were able to isolate the virus from humans.
Virologist Patrick Laidlaw and his team were working with ferrets to develop a distemper vaccine when the animals caught the flu from Wilson Smith, one of the scientists in the laboratory. The team dubbed it the “W.S.” virus, and their discovery made it possible to develop a vaccine.
Spanish Flu Pandemic Ends
Almost 90 years later, in 2008, researchers announced theyd discovered what made the 1918 flu so deadly: A group of three genes enabled the virus to weaken a victims bronchial tubes and lungs and clear the way for bacterial pneumonia.
Since 1918, there have been several other influenza pandemics, although none as deadly. A flu pandemic from 1957 to 1958 killed around 2 million people worldwide, including some 70,000 people in the United States, and a pandemic from 1968 to 1969 killed approximately 1 million people, including some 34,000 Americans.
More than 12,000 Americans perished during the H1N1 pandemic that occurred from 2009 to 2010. The novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is spreading around the world as countries race to find a cure for COVID-19 and citizens shelter in place in an attempt to avoid spreading the disease. .
Each of these modern day pandemics brings renewed interest in and attention to the Spanish Flu, or forgotten pandemic, so-named because its spread was overshadowed by the deadliness of WWI and covered up by news blackouts and poor record-keeping.
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Measles Mumps And Rubella
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella are viral infections that have each caused widespread, deadly disease outbreaks. Throughout the 1960s, individual vaccines were developed for each of them, but a decade later, they were combined into one.
Measles was the first of the three to receive its own vaccine in 1963, followed by mumps in 1967, and rubella in 1969. Two years later, in 1971, Maurice Hilleman of the Merck Institute of Therapeutic Research developed a combined vaccination that would provide immunity for all three viruses.
Hilleman was credited with creating the first measles and mumps vaccine, and began researching ways to incorporate a system of immunity for each virus. Using his previous research and a rubella vaccine developed by Stanley Plotkin in 1969, he created the first successful MMR vaccine in just two years.
According to the CDC, “One dose of MMR vaccine is 93% effective against measles, 78% effective against mumps, and 97% effective against rubella.”
“Two doses of MMR vaccine are 97% effective against measles and 88% effective against mumps.”