This season’s influenza vaccine provides protection against four of the flu viruses that are anticipated to make their rounds.
Although the vaccine is not entirely effective, experts believe it is the most efficientmeans to avoid complications from the flu.
Here are five common questions surrounding the flu vaccine.
1. Why is it even more important to receive the flu shot this year?
Each year, thousands of people pass away from the flu. In addition to reduce the risk of getting the flu by receiving a vaccination, healthcare resources need to be conserved during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If someone simultaneously contracts the flu virus and the COVID-19 virus, it has the potential to be even more life threatening. Receiving the flu shot can help safeguard you, your family, and your community.
The flu shot could potentially reduce symptoms that might be confused with those caused by COVID-19. Recieving the flu shot can reducing the severity of flu illness resulting in a decrease of hospital patients.
2. How does the flu vaccine work?
Every year, the flu virus is altered and modified; this ever-changing bug makes it even more difficult to avoid. Newly developed vaccines are designed annually in an attempt to adapt to the ongoing virus changes.
Prior to the beginning of each flu season, health experts at a federal level make predictions on which flu strains are anticipated to flourish. These forecasts ultimately help guide and inform manufacturers to fabricate the most suitable vaccines.
The influenza immunization is leveraged by stimulating your immune system to create antibodies. Once the shot has been received, antibodies will be fully developed within approximately 2 weeks. These antibodies assist your body in attacking strains of the flu virus that are in the vaccine.
3. Who should get the flu vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages anyone who is 6 months and older to receive the vaccination on an annual basis.
Influenza is an infection that can cause significant respiratory difficulties, especially in pregnant women, younger children, and older adults.
It is also recommended that anyone with particular medical conditions should receive a flu vaccine.Examples of those who live with chronic medical conditions include asthma, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, liver disease, and obesity.
Prior to receiving a flu vaccine, be sure to ask your doctor if the shot is appropriate for you a) you’ve ever had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past, b) you are severely allergic to eggs, or c) you’re mildly allergic to eggs (you may still qualify for the vaccine).
4. What type of flu vaccines are available?
The flu vaccination is typically available as an injection, as well as a nasal spray. However, in the recent past, the nasal spray version was not as protective against certain types of flu. The nasal spray vaccine is generally approved for people between the ages of 2 and 49 years old.
Certain populations are advised to be cautious with using the nasal flu vaccine, especially people with chronic medical conditions. Ask your doctor for their recommendation based on your personal situation. The injectable flu vaccine is typically administered into an arm muscle.
5. What are the protection levels from a flu vaccine?
The flu shot’s efficacy has some variables as far as how well it can protect you from catching the influenza virus. For example, it is generally the most powerful for those younger than 65 years old. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies from past years discovered that the flu vaccine is up to 60% effective for healthy adults between 18 and 64 years old.
Experts believe that although the vaccine may not help avoid catching the virus, it can reduce the severity of symptoms. The influenza vaccine does not inoculate you from getting the COVID-19 virus, but it is still important to get the flu shot for your overall health.
In our next Auxo medical blog post, we’ll discuss the most effective time of year to get a flu shot.