The Childrens Nasal Flu Vaccine May Have Been More Effective Than The Adult Flu Vaccine In The 2014
The nasal flu vaccine is a different type of vaccine from the one used in adults. This season it had an additional strain of flu vaccine included, and offered protection against four strains of virus, not just three. In Autumn 2014 several areas of the UK ran pilot flu vaccination projects with all children of primary school age. In these areas, there have been fewer cases of flu overall. This suggests that giving more young children the Nasal Flu vaccine helps to protect everyone in the community, and it may be that the childrens flu vaccine was much more than 3% effective this year.
. This showed that the programme in the pilot areas had a significant impact on flu in children and the community as a whole.
History Has Proven: The Flu Is A Monster
If you’ve ever had the flu, you know it’s not your average virus. The illness can land you flat on your back and its effects can span 2 weeks or longer. Now, with COVID in the mix, it’s even more of a concern.
For children under two, seniors, and people with chronic health conditions like:
the flu can be especially severe or even fatal. Dehydration, worsening of health conditions, and pneumonia are just a few of the possible complications.
And, NO, the flu vaccine CANNOT cause the flu . The vaccine is made up of inactivated or weakened viruses that have no ability to infect the lungs.
So, go on — you’re out of excuses — fight off the monster known as the flu today and get your vaccine.
Why You Should Get A Flu Shot
Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever* or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue , some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. Its important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
It’s really important to reduce the risk of getting the flu, which is what the flu vaccine does, says Joe Novinger, DO, Northeast Family Health. This is particularly important this year, when we could very well face the confluence of influenza and COVID-19.
Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications as a result of flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.
Getting vaccinated against both the flu and COVID protects against both and reduces the likelihood of spreading these viruses to others, says Novinger.
Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications from flu, while pneumonia is a serious flu complication that can result from either flu virus infection alone or from co-infection of flu virus and bacteria.
Other possible serious complications triggered by flu can include inflammation of the heart , brain or muscle tissues , and multi-organ failure .
Recommended Reading: Tdap Shots Cvs
Myth #: The Flu Vaccine Contains Harmful Chemicals
For many years now, a small segment of vaccine detractors known as anti-vaxxers have been trumpeting the myth that certain ingredients in the flu shot are toxic and cause health complications. They usually blame formaldehyde, used to deactivate the virus in the vaccine, and thimerosal, an ethylmercury-based preservative. These ingredients have been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration. And, according to a large body of evidence, they arent linked to any disorder.
Administering The Flu Vaccine During The Covid
It is more important than ever to get the vaccine this year as research shows that for some people contracting COVID-19 and flu virus increases the risk of complications, which could be fatal.
Robust infection control procedures and social distancing will be in place in all settings where the flu vaccination is administered.
You can also reduce your risk or catching coronavirus by following the latest public health advice when you are out getting your vaccination:
Do not attend your vaccination appointment if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or if you are in self-isolation having been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19. You should rearrange your appointment.
Also Check: Does Cvs Offer Tetanus Shots
Do I Need The Flu Vaccine If I Am Travelling
Whether or not you are at high risk for the complications of flu, you should consider getting a flu vaccination before travelling overseas because studies have shown that the flu is the most commonly contracted vaccine-preventable disease among international travellers.
- Flu outbreaks have been linked to travellers.
- Certain types of travel where large numbers of people are likely to be in close proximity, such as cruise ship voyages or events that include mass gatherings, are particularly high risk.
- In tropical countries, the flu can occur throughout the year, so vaccination is worthwhile regardless of the season.
- In temperate climates in the northern hemisphere, the flu is more common between the months of December and March.
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.
Also Check: Tdap Cvs
How You Catch Flu
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.
You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you should wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.
But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.
Seriously Get A Flu Shot
One reason its so important to get your annual flu shot , according to Dr. Rehm: protecting yourself is a lot easier than treating these illnesses.
There are some treatments available for the flu and treatments we have for COVID-19 are evolving, she says. But to avoid the disease altogether or to only have a mild case because youve been vaccinated is much better than trying to treat it. Prevention is best.
You May Like: Where To Get Tdap Vaccine Cvs
Those At Increased Risk From The Effects Of Flu
Flu can affect anyone, but if you have a long-term health condition, the effects of flu can make it worse even if the condition is well managed and you normally feel well. You should have the free flu vaccine if you are:
or have a long-term condition such as:
- a heart problem
- a chest complaint or serious breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or some people with asthma
- a kidney disease
- lowered immunity due to disease or treatment
- liver disease
- had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack
- a neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy
- a learning disability
- a problem with your spleen, such as sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
- you are seriously overweight
This list of conditions isnt definitive. Its always an issue of clinical judgement. Your GP can assess you to take into account the risk of flu making any underlying illness you may have worse, as well as your risk of serious illness from flu itself.
Myth #: Pregnant People Shouldnt Get The Flu Vaccine
The flu shot is not connected to miscarriage, as some people falsely assume. In fact, the influenza virus not its vaccine is whats linked to miscarriage and other potential problems for a pregnant person and their unborn child. According to the CDC, millions of pregnant people have gotten vaccinated safely, and a large body of evidence supports the shots safety.
For this reason, except in rare cases when the pregnant person has a severe, life-threatening allergy to a component of the vaccine, experts strongly recommend they get a flu shot. Besides protecting the parent and the developing fetus from the virus, the immune defenses from vaccination will continue to safeguard the baby once theyre born. This coverage will last until the child is six months old and can receive their own flu vaccine.
You May Like: Can You Get A Tdap Shot At Cvs
Where Can I Get Vaccinated Against The Flu
People eligible for a free flu vaccineEligible people can get a free vaccination from their family doctor/general practice. It is usually the practice nurse who gives the vaccine. Many community pharmacies provide free flu vaccinations to people aged 13 years and older and pregnant women . People who are not eligible to receive a free flu vaccineThe flu vaccination is available from:
- your family doctor/general practice
Please contact your healthcare provider about the cost of getting the flu vaccine.
How Does A Flu Shot Work To Prevent Infection
Like other vaccines, the flu shot uses influenza antigens, special molecules that cause your body to produce antibodies that are specifically designed to fight off flu infection. Every virus and bacteria contains unique antigens. Once your body produces antibodies to fight off flu antigens, your immune system is trained to recognize flu germs as soon as they enter the body. Then, it ramps up its production of flu antibodies so it can prevent infection.
You May Like: Tdap Vaccine Cvs
Last Years Flu Shot Wont Provide Adequate Protection From The Flu This Year
There are several reasons why you need to get a flu shot every year. First, your bodys immune response to the vaccine gradually declines, so an annual vaccine is needed to provide continuous protection. Second, flu viruses are constantly changing. Each year, the strains covered in the flu vaccine are reviewed and adjusted.
The Flu Vaccination: Who Should Have It And Why
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: .
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flu-vaccination-who-should-have-it-this-winter-and-why/the-flu-vaccination-who-should-have-it-and-why
Read Also: Cvs Tdap Vaccine
How Serious Is Influenza
Influenza reduces the body’s ability to fight other infections. Bacterial pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs, is the most common complication from influenza, especially in elderly people. Influenza can also lead to more complications for people who have heart, lung or other health conditions. These complications can sometimes be fatal.
Can Flu Vaccination Make My Child Sick
Most people have no reaction to flu vaccination. Anyone can have flu vaccination except people who have had a previous severe allergic reaction to flu vaccination in the past. Your child may have one or more of the following responses after the vaccination:
- soreness, redness or swelling where the vaccine was given
These are usually mild and only last 1 or 2 days.
Don’t Miss: Does Cvs Do Tetanus Shots
Can I Get A Flu Vaccine If I Am Allergic To Eggs
If you are allergic to eggs you can still be protected in most cases, even though most flu shots and the nasal spray flu vaccine are made using egg-based technology.
However, a previous severe allergic reaction to any influenza vaccine, regardless of the component suspected of being responsible for the reaction, means you should not receive that vaccine in the future. But there still may be an appropriate flu vaccine you can use.
Talk with your doctor if you are not sure if a previous reaction you’ve had is considered severe, and which vaccines may be appropriate for you now. You may need to receive your vaccine in a medical setting with a healthcare provider who can recognize and manage a severe allergic reaction.
Egg-Free Vaccines for 2021-2022
There are 2 egg protein-free flu vaccines available for the 2021-2022 flu season:
- Flublok Quadrivalent, from Sanofi Pasteur, is a recombinant vaccine and does not contain any egg proteins. It can be used in people 18 years and older.
- Flucelvax Quadrivalent, from Seqirus, is a standard dose, cell culture-based vaccine and can be used in people 2 years and older.
Other vaccines than these two listed above may contain trace amounts of egg proteins. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have an egg allergy.
The Flu Vaccine Is Covered By Many Health Plans
The Affordable Care Act requires most health plans to cover preventive care, including flu vaccinations. Check with your health plan. Some plans may require that your vaccine be administered by a health care provider who is a member of the plans network in order to qualify for coverage.
Flu vaccination is the best way to prevent getting the flu, says Dr. Sax. He adds that every infectious disease specialist he knows gets vaccinated, as a way to protect themselves and to prevent spreading the disease. And remember, contrary to popular belief, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Flu season overlaps with the cough and cold season. If you get a cold shortly after you get a flu vaccine, its completely unrelated to the vaccine.
In summary, while there are more choices out there for flu vaccine than ever, its more important to get any of the available vaccines than to worry too much about getting the right one, as all will do a good job at protecting you from the flu. The only option not worth considering? Failing to get your flu vaccine.
Dr. Paul Sax, Clinical Director of Infectious Disease at Brigham and Womens Hospital, discusses why flu vaccination remains the best method to prevent this serious illness.
Paul Edward Sax, MD, is the clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Womens Hospital.
You May Like: Cost Of Shingles Vaccine At Cvs
Don’t Miss Work School And Maybe A Paycheck
Many of us continue to work or learn from home this fall due to COVID-19, but the flu vaccine is still an important preventive measure every year. No doubt, if you have your choice between getting the flu or not, you should prefer the latter.
The flu season can result in millions of lost work days at a cost of billions of dollars. Although the CDC says people should get a flu vaccine when available — and best by the end of October — many people wait or never get it at all. But you can get the flu vaccine anytime throughout the flu season if you miss the earlier dates in Sept. or Oct.
And it’s important to know that this year, you can get your flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time, if needed. This will save you a trip and offer possibly life-saving protection.
How well does the flu vaccine work?
Usually flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% during seasons when the flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine.
Vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year, based on the match of the circulating flu types to the strains contained in the vaccine. Flu vaccine effectiveness estimates for last year are not available yet, but a record number of influenza vaccine doses were distributed in the U.S. during 2020-2021 flu season.
Last years flu season was very mild, probably due to flu vaccine uptake as well as COVID social distancing, mask wearing, school closures, telecommuting, and hand washing by the general public.
When To Postpone The Flu Shot
Having cold symptoms isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid getting your flu shot. But sometimes it’s better to put it off for a few days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends waiting until you’re better if:
- You have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- You’re very ill
Fever isn’t a frequent cold symptom in adults. It’s more common in children, though.
If you’re planning to get your child vaccinated and they seem sick, monitor their temperature. If they have a fever, the healthcare provider may decide it’s better to wait than to vaccinate right away.
The healthcare provider giving you the vaccine should ask you if you have a fever or are sick before giving it. If they don’t, be sure to speak up.
Recommended Reading: Tdap Cost Cvs
Flu Isnt Just A Heavy Cold
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why its sometimes called seasonal flu. Its a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly.
Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold.
The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover within 2 to 7 days but, for some, the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.