Sunday, September 24, 2023

Where Can You Get Flu Vaccine

Can You Get The Flu After The Flu Shot

Can you get a flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine? Colorado doctor answers questions

Flu season is here. With dropping temperatures and shorter days comes a higher risk of getting the flu. But the risk doesnt stop there. Many people can actually transmit the virus to others a day before they ever show symptoms. The flu may not pose much risk to you, but it might be more dangerous for people around youespecially very young children or older adults.

Each year, scientists determine which strain of the flu is most likely to be common and develop a vaccine specifically for that strain. The flu vaccine uses an inactivated, or dead, form of the virus, so you cant get the flu from the flu shot. It takes about two weeks after getting the shot for the vaccine to be effective.

Its possible to get infected in that two-week period or to be exposed to a different strain of the flu and still come down with it. However, getting the flu shot does reduce both the risk of getting the flu and the severity of the disease, along with helping prevent you from transmitting it to others.

Thats why medical professionals like Bridget Bolterstein, nurse practitioner at Aurora St. Lukes South Shore Medical Center, recommend getting the flu vaccine.

Getting the flu vaccine decreases your chance of getting a severe case and transmitting the disease, said Bolterstein. You could still get the flu after being vaccinated, but youll likely have a much milder case.

Why Should People Get Vaccinated Against Flu

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and flu can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work or it can result in more serious illness. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. While some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.

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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Children Aged 9 And Up

From the age of 9, children that get the flu vaccine receive a single dose of it, even if they have never received a flu vaccine before.

The immune system of a 9 year old child is indeed sufficiently developed to produce enough antibodies to protect them with a single dose of the vaccine.

Children who have certain chronic diseases can get vaccinated free of charge under the Flu Vaccination Program.

What Happens If You Get Two Flu Shots

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Unfortunately, getting two flu shots wont somehow provide you with double protection against the flu vaccines dont work like that. Thats why the CDC recommends that most people get a single dose of the vaccine each season.

According to The New York Times, getting a booster dose of the flu shot is associated with an increased risk of adverse reactions, including fever, rash, shortness of breath, and pain at the injection site. Those possible reactions may seem very mild , but if getting two doses of the same vaccine doesnt double your immunity and even slightly increases the risk of adverse reactions, it makes sense to skip the second shot.

Its also a good idea to limit handshakes and other forms of physical contact during flu season.

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Who Should Get A Flu Shot

The Centers for Disease Control recommends annual flu immunization as the best way to reduce the risk of getting and spreading the flu virus which reduces hospitalizations and flu-related deaths. Your Mercy primary care provider can review your individual health situation and recommend the best course of treatment to help you stay healthy throughout flu season. The traditional flu vaccine injection is given to:

  • Children and infants as young as 6 months old – learn more about pediatric flu shots
  • Women who are pregnant – given during the first trimester to protect both mother and baby
  • Adults who are currently feeling healthy

Those with a history of a severe allergy to chicken eggs, a severe reaction to a previous flu shot or a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome within 6 weeks of receiving a flu vaccination should not take it. Talk to your Mercy primary care provider about other options available to you.

Flu Shot Effectiveness

It can take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective, therefore be sure to get your flu shot early in the fall for maximum protection. The level of protection can vary from year to year based on the effectiveness of the vaccine match to the current flu viruses.

Can I Get Both Vaccines At The Same Time

For adults, both the COVID vaccine and influenza vaccine can be given at the same time. Theres no concern about increased side effects from both vaccines nor are there any concerns about them not working as well. You may get a sore arm from both but overall side effects are very minimal with both of these vaccines. Theyre both very safe.

For children 5-11, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the Ontario Ministry of Health recommend spacing out the COVID vaccine from other vaccines by two weeks out of an abundance of caution to track side effects more easily.

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What’s New For Flu For 2021

It’s best to get your family vaccinated for flu by October, but flu vaccine is still available through winter. You may visit your local doctor’s office, pharmacy or clinic event in your area. See or call the Help Me Grow Washington hotline at 1-800-322-2588 to find a flu vaccine location near you.

  • In Washington, all children under age 19 get flu vaccines and other recommended vaccines at no cost.
  • The provider may charge an administration fee to give the vaccine. You can ask them to waive this fee if you cannot afford it.
  • Most insurance plans, including Medicare part B, cover the cost of flu vaccine for adults.
  • Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can both be received in the same day, or even the same visit for convenience.
  • Talk to your local health department for information about other no-cost flu vaccine options that may be available in your community.

The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence

Can You Get A Flu Shot and COVID-19 Vaccine (Once One Is Approved)?

This years flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Dont take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot as early in the season as possible.

The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. It is:

  • safe
  • free
  • available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and local public health units across the province
  • proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
  • different each year because the virus changes frequently so you need to get it every fall

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When Is It Too Late To Get A Flu Shot

While you usually want to get a flu shot well before flu season gets started, that isn’t always possible. With flu shot delays or shortages, your child might not always be able to get a flu shotwhen you want.

So when is it too late to get vaccinated against the flu?

The CDC recommends getting vaccinated early, but they also say, “Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.”

So it is really never too late to get a flu vaccine.

Getting A Flu Vaccine: Four Steps

Community care flu shots are available to eligible Veterans who:

  • Are enrolled in the VA health care system AND
  • Received care through VA from either a VA or community provider within the past 24 monthsNOTE: Second requirement is new for 2021-2022 flu season.

To check your eligibility, Veterans can:

Call 800-MyVA411 , select option 1 , then select option 3 , and then option 1 again .NOTE: The system will check your eligibility for the community urgent care benefit, which includes the flu vaccine.

Contact your local VA medical facility.

Veterans can get a flu shot without prior authorization. Flu vaccines provided include standard , high dose, and preservative-free.

NOTE: Family members and beneficiaries are not eligible. State, age and health-related restrictions may apply. Individuals who are not eligible and receive a flu vaccine may be liable for the cost of the vaccine.

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Who Should Get The Flu Shot

Flu shots are important for everyone older than six months. They are especially important for certain people, including older adults, younger children, healthcare workers, pregnant women, people with a weakened immune system, and people with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and asthma.

After you get a flu shot, you might feel achy or have a low-grade fever. This means that your body is building an immune response to the flu virus. These mild side effects are not as bad as getting the flu. The flu causes most people to stay in bed for a week. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot.

Flu vaccine is safe and is the best defense against the flu. The Office of Immunization provides flu vaccination for at no cost for students in kindergarten through grade 12 at school-based clinics. Most evening school clinics are open to the public . For the most up-to-date list of school clinics and to register for a school clinic, visit There are also a number of community clinics open to the public which offer enhanced flu vaccine for people 65 years of age and older.

Click on the image or here to search for a clinic site near you.

Please note: Some flu vaccine clinic sites will not allow walk-ins. Please register online or call first to make an appointment.

Misconceptions About Physician Consent For Vaccination

Experts say when you should get a flu shot this season [Video]

Do pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions need special permission or written consent from their doctor to get a flu vaccine?

No. There is no recommendation for pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions to seek special permission or secure written consent from their doctor for vaccination if they get vaccinated at a worksite clinic, pharmacy or other location outside of their physicians office. With rare exception, CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older, including pregnant women and people with medical conditions.

A variety of flu vaccine products are available . Vaccine providers should be aware of the approved age indications of the vaccine they are using and of any contraindications or precautions. Providers also should appropriately screen all people getting vaccinated for allergies to vaccine components or other contraindications. People who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine or any of its ingredients should generally not be vaccinated.

There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first speaking with their doctor. These include:

Pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions who get vaccinated should get a flu shot.

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Are There Risks To Getting A Flu Shot When Youre Sick

If you do get a flu shot when youre sick, dont worry you wont hurt yourself or make yourself sicker. However, its best to let your body focus on dealing with your existing illness.

The immune system is preoccupied with fighting off what youre already sick with, says Dr. Ford. And so you want your system in a prepared state. That way when you get the vaccine, you get a good response. And that bolsters your immunity to influenza that will hopefully last you through the whole flu season.

In a perfect world, getting a flu shot would ensure you stay healthy. But if you get sick a few days after getting a flu shot, will that hurt your chances of developing immunity for the season?

Thankfully, likely not. The immune response to any vaccination happens fairly quickly, typically within the first 24 to 48 hours, says Dr. Ford. So if you find yourself sick later on its a funny thing, because people always say, Well, I got sick from the flu shot. However, the illness was probably there to begin with, and you just hadnt started feeling symptoms. As long as your symptoms are minimal, your bodys going to have a great chance to mount the immunity.

Why You May Feel Sick After Getting The Flu Vaccine

While the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, it can have mild side effects that mimic influenza. This stems from your body producing the desired immune response.

These side effects usually occur soon after the vaccine is administered and last one to two days. Both the injected flu vaccine and the nasal flu vaccine may produce:

  • Soreness, redness or pain at the injection site
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

In addition, the nasal spray flu vaccine may cause cold-like symptoms as the weakened virus infects the nasal cells to trigger the immune reaction. Children may experience a runny nose and wheezing. Adults may have a runny nose, sore throat, and cough.

In randomized, blinded studies, no difference in side effects were seen between those who received the flu vaccine and those who got a saltwater shot, other than more soreness and redness at the injection site. Those getting a saltwater shot were just as likely to note body aches, fever, cough, runny nose, or sore throat as those getting a flu shot.

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Can You Get A Flu Shot If Youre Sick

It depends. The general guidance is it depends on how sick you are, says Donald Ford, MD, MBA, Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. If you have a mild illness or a cold what we normally think of a routine viral infection theres absolutely no reason why you cant go ahead and get your flu shot, which is protection against a more severe viral infection.

However, if you have a fever which for adults is classified as a temperature over 100.4° F or are otherwise feeling unlike yourself, Dr. Ford recommends rescheduling for another day.

The temperature is one marker, he says. If youre sick enough that youre staying home from work, if youre having trouble keeping food down or staying hydrated, those would be all reasons to at least postpone it.

When Should You Get A Flu Shot

Can you get the flu shot and COVID vaccine at the same time?

While ideally, you should have gotten your flu shot by September or October, that sometimes doesn’t happen.

Why wait?

The early start to a flu season might catch you by surprise so that you simply didn’t have time to get your kids their flu vaccine. Others might wait, thinking they didn’t need one, but then became concerned about the reports of how bad flu season has been the last few years.

Of course, it is always better to get a flu shot much earlier so that you are protected for the full flu season.

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What You Need To Know About Pneumonia And Flu Shots

This article was first published in The Montreal Gazette.

Recently, Oprah got pneumonia. Then she went on Ellen to recommend that everyone get their flu and pneumonia shots. Given that only 42 per cent of Canadians over the age of 65 got the pneumonia vaccine in 2016, maybe Oprah can get us over the 80 per cent target.

Sadly, Oprah has not always been a strong advocate for science. She gave a platform to Jenny McCarthy when she started claiming that vaccines caused her sons autism, and she also introduced the world to Dr. Oz.

But as Oprah explained to Ellen, pneumonia is no joke. Around 1.5 million people are hospitalized with pneumonia every year. Around 100,000 die in hospital and a third of people hospitalized with pneumonia die within the year.

Older patients are at greater risk and so are those with pre-existing lung disease. Smoking is also a risk factor for pneumonia, so if you need an extra incentive to stop smoking, this is it. But the main way to prevent pneumonia is with vaccines.

The problem with the pneumonia vaccine is not one of efficacy. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 18 randomized trials found that the pneumonia vaccine led to a substantial reduction in infections. The problem is which pneumonia vaccine to give people.

And if you wont listen to me, at least listen to Oprah.

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