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Why Should Healthcare Workers Get The Flu Shot?

Why Should Healthcare Workers Get The Flu Shot
Vaccination is the best defence against the flu and all health care workers, whether they are in direct patient care or not, should get the flu shot every year and get it early. It is critical that all health care workers recognize the importance of getting the flu shot to protect themselves, their families, co-workers, patients and clients (some of whom are at high risk of serious complications from the flu).

We’re all vulnerable when it comes to the flu. Get the shot early. Get it every year. Protect yourself and others from the flu. Why is it important to get the flu shot early? It takes up to two weeks to build up your immunity. Protect yourself and get the shot early. Getting the flu vaccine protects you, your family and the ones you care for. What’s missing from your healthy life style? Are you exercising, taking your vitamins and eating enough fruits and vegetables? When it comes to the flu, that’s not enough. The flu shot works to build up your immunity, making you stronger and more resistant to the virus. Serious reactions from the flu shot are rare. The flu vaccine is safe and well tolerated. Mild reactions include soreness, redness or swelling where the vaccine was given, lasting up to two days. Are you doing enough to protect yourself and others from the flu? Hand washing, sneezing or coughing into your sleeve and staying home when you are sick will help prevent the spread of flu, but it’s not enough. Get the flu shot. Vaccination works and the best defence against the flu is to get the flu shot. The flu vaccine can reduce the risk of serious illnesses and death due to influenza.

Why is it important to receive the flu vaccine?

Every year, flu vaccination prevents illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Flu vaccination also is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. For example flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among in people with heart disease.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of flu jab?

– The flu can cause serious illness, hospitalization, and death in high risk individuals. High risk groups include:

older adultsyoung childrenpregnant womenpeople with certain underlying health conditions, such as HIV, asthma, and diabetes

Flu vaccinations are vital for anyone at risk of severe complications. Other benefits of flu shots include:

reducing the severity of symptoms in those who do get the flu, potentially preventing the symptoms from disrupting daily lifelowering the risk of passing the flu onto high risk individualsreducing the risk of death in people with hypertensionpreventing tens of thousands of trips to the doctors each year

The CDC estimate that flu vaccinations between 2017 and 2018 prevented:

6.16 million illnesses3.18 million medical visits90,904 hospitalizations5,747 deaths

Flu shots also allow the development of community immunity, If enough people get the vaccine, the flu is unable to spread rapidly through communities. As a result, people in high risk groups are less likely to get the flu. Flu shots are, therefore, important for protecting others from severe illnesses. Some possible downsides to flu shots include:

only about 40–60% of flu shots are effective in preventing the flu each yearthey can take up to 2 weeks to start workingsometimes, they cause mild side effects, such as pain, redness, and swelling at the injection sitesome people may experience low grade fever, headaches, and muscle aches after the shot, but these should only last 1–2 days in very rare cases, Guillain-Barré syndrome can develop following a flu shot

A common worry is that the flu shot can cause a person to get the flu. However, as the vaccine contains either the inactivated virus or only part of the virus, this is not possible.

Does getting the flu build immunity?

Are you immune to the flu after having it? Yes, to a degree. Your body builds immunity against the strain of flu virus you got infected by.

Who should be immunized against the flu?

Who Should Be Vaccinated? – Everyone 6 months and older in the United States should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every season with rare exception. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this “universal” recommendation since the 2010-2011 flu season.

Vaccination to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. A full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk is available at People at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications,

More information is available at Who Needs a Flu Vaccine,

How does the flu vaccine trigger an immune response?

Abstract – Specific immunity to influenza is associated with a systemic immune response (serum haemagglutination inhibition antibody), local respiratory immune response (virus-specific local IgA and IgG antibodies in nasal wash), and with the cell-mediated immune response.

  1. Both inactivated and live influenza vaccines induce virus-specific serum antibody which can protect against infection with influenza virus possessing the same antigenic specificity.
  2. In the absence of serum antibodies, local antibodies in nasal wash are a major determinant of resistance to infection with influenza virus.

In comparative studies in humans it was shown that nasal secretory IgA develops chiefly after immunization with live cold-adapted (CA) vaccine, but persistent nasal secretory IgG was detected in both CA live and inactivated vaccines. The origin of nasal wash haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibodies is not completely known.

  1. Recently it was found that cytotoxic T-cells (CTL) play an important role in immunity against influenza and in clearance of influenza virus from the body.
  2. In primed humans, inactivated influenza vaccine stimulates a cross-reactive T-cell response, whereas the ability of inactivated vaccine to stimulate such immunity in unprimed humans has not been determined.

Data on the T-cell response to live vaccine in humans are limited to the development of secondary T-cell responses in primed individuals vaccinated with a host-range (HR) attenuated vaccine. The data obtained have shown that immunity induced by inactivated influenza vaccines is presumably dependent on the stimulation of serum antibody.

Does the flu jab help prevent colds?

Flu vaccine myth buster – There are many myths circulating on the flu this year. Read the facts behind the most common myths. False claim: It’s not safe to get my flu jab at the NHS Mythbuster #1: The NHS has taken every precaution to protect you and put robust plans in place to provide flu jabs in a COVID-safe way.

If you are invited for a flu jab appointment, it’s important you attend. It’s much safer to get the jab than not. False claim: The flu jab gives you serious side effects Mythbuster #2: Only 1 in a million people get serious side effects from the flu jab. Mild side effects are more common, but far less serious than the possible effects of flu which can cause serious illness or death.

The flu jab is the best protection for you and those around you. False claim: The flu jab is not halal Mythbuster #3: It is only the child vaccine which is a nasal spray which includes porcine gelatin. The British Fatwa council has permitted the use of the nasal spray in children.

  1. This year, the NHS will also offer the non-porcine flu injection to children who cannot consume porcine to make the vaccine more accessible.
  2. You should discuss your options with your nurse or doctor.
  3. False claim: The flu vaccine comes with a microchip implant Mythbuster #4: An edited video has been shared on social media showing people being implanted with a microchip.

This video was about an American company which offered its staff a microchip implant in their finger to buy snacks or use computers and photocopiers. This was not a video of a flu jab and the flu jab does not contain microchips. False claim: The flu vaccine will give you the flu Mythbuster #5: You cannot catch the flu from the flu vaccine.

The vaccine contains an inactivated virus which cannot give you flu. It may cause mild side effects such as soreness or aching muscles, a mild fever or feeling unwell, shivery, achy and tired. These are far less serious than the risks of catching the flu. False claim: The flu vaccine will make you test positive for Covid-19 Mythbuster #6: The flu jab will not make you test positive for coronavirus.

The COVID-19 test looks for the specific genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Flu viruses have a very different genetic sequence. The flu vaccine can definitely not affect the result of the COVID-19 test. False claim: The flu vaccine itself is not safe Mythbuster #7: The flu vaccination is safe and effective and must be given annually.

It cannot give you the flu. It does not protect you from COVID-19, but it does protect against the strains of flu that will circulate this year. False claim: The flu shot contains Covid-19 Mythbuster #8: Recent posts on social media claiming that the flu vaccine contains COVID-19 are false. The flu vaccine has been used for many years and does not contain SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19.

False claim: The flu nasal spray can make your child unwell Mythbuster #9: The children’s nasal spray may cause a runny or blocked nose, headache, tiredness and some loss of appetite. But these symptoms usually end within 2 days and are far less serious than the effects of contracting flu.

False claim: The flu is not serious for children so it’s best to let them catch it Mythbuster #10: Flu in children can be serious – it can lead to high fever, painful ear infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia and even hospitalisation. Give your child the free flu vaccine to help protect them and vulnerable family and friends. False claim: The nasal flu spray can give your child autism Mythbuster #11: The nasal flu spray will definitely not give your child autism. The claims that the MMR vaccine causes autism have been discredited many times and there is absolutely no link between the nasal flu spray and autism.

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Why not to get flu shot while pregnant?

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine and Pregnancy Pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk for influenza-related complications. Pregnant women are also more likely to be hospitalized with flu than women of reproductive age who are not pregnant. CDC has received reports of flu hospitalizations and deaths in pregnant women with influenza virus infection.

  1. Pregnant women should receive a seasonal flu shot.
    • Influenza is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant and postpartum women than in women who are not pregnant. Changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from influenza.
    • Vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by about one-half.
    • Getting a flu shot can reduce a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with flu by an average of 40 percent.
    • Pregnant women who get a flu shot are also helping to protect their babies from flu illness for the first several months after their birth, when they are too young to get vaccinated.

More information on the importance of flu vaccination during pregnancy is,

Flu vaccination is safe during pregnancy.

    • Flu shots have been given to millions of pregnant women over several decades with a good safety record.
    • Pregnant women should get a flu shot ; NOT the live attenuated vaccine (LAIV or nasal spray).
    • Postpartum women, even if they are breastfeeding, can receive either type of vaccine.
    • There is a lot of evidence to show that flu shots can be safely given to women during pregnancy. CDC and ACIP recommend that pregnant women get vaccinated during any trimester of their pregnancy.

More information on the safety of flu vaccination is,

  1. Antiviral drugs can treat flu illness and are recommended for pregnant women who are sick with flu.
    • When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time your patients are sick. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia.
    • During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, prompt antiviral treatment of hospitalized pregnant women was shown to prevent respiratory failure and death.
    • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be beneficial, especially for patients who are at high risk for flu complications such as pregnant women.

More information regarding flu antiviral drugs is available,

  • : Influenza (Flu) Vaccine and Pregnancy

    Why do some people not catch flu?

    What Factors Increase Risk Of Cold And Flu? – We each have unique characteristics that can affect our susceptibility to cold and flu infections. Some factors that may play a role in how often we have a cold or flu include:

    Environment: If someone in your office or home has a cold or flu, you’re more at risk for infection. You can touch a surface they’ve used and pick up the virus. Or you may inhale infected air particles after someone coughs or sneezes nearby. Genetics: “Researchers believe that genetics may play even a bigger role in our risk for infection,” says Dr. Hafeez. Certain genetic characteristics may provide additional protection from infection, while others may increase our susceptibility. Immune system: Our immune system consists of cells, tissues and organs to help fight infection and disease. Many health conditions may affect the immune system’s ability to fight infection. You may be born with an illness or acquire a disease that weakens the immune response. Past exposure to viruses and bacteria may protect you from future infections if you have a healthy immune system.

    “Investigators are studying the mechanisms that make us sick and how these factors come together to increase risk or protect against illnesses like cold and flu,” says Dr. Hafeez. These factors may also influence the risk for other viruses, such as COVID-19.

    Does flu vaccine stop infection?

    Sometimes I get the flu despite having had the flu shot — why should I bother? – Flu vaccination prevents illness in up to 6 in 10 healthy adults under the age of 65. Because the vaccine is not effective in absolutely every case, some people may still catch the virus after having the flu shot.

    But the risk of illness is still reduced. Although most people who get the flu recover without lasting effects, the flu can be very serious in some people and may require hospitalisation. In some cases, it can even be fatal. It’s not possible to predict who will be severely affected. Vaccination against the flu both reduces your chances of getting it and the severity of the symptoms if you do.

    So it’s still important to have the shot.

    Does natural immunity to flu last longer?

    From these results, it can be concluded that antibody-based immunity to HA induced by natural infection is long-lived (more than 50 years) and might perhaps be lifelong.

    Is vaccination the best way to prevent flu?

    Take Three Actions to Prevent Flu Every Year –

    1. Take time to get the flu vaccine. The single best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated every year.
      • Everyone aged 6 months and older, without contraindications, is recommended to get an annual flu vaccine by the end of October.
      • Some young children aged 6 months through 8 years will need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected. Find out more here,
      • Every year, flu vaccines prevent millions of illnesses and thousands of hospitalizations and deaths. They reduce the burden on the health care system and conserve medical resources, which continues to be extremely important in Michigan.
      • Vaccination of people at high risk for flu complications is especially important to lower their risk of severe flu illness and death.
      • It is essential that health care workers and those who work or live with people at higher risk are vaccinated.
    2. Take every day preventative actions to stop the spread of germs.
      • Avoiding close contact with other people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
      • Practice other good health habits including getting plenty of sleep, clean and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious foods.
    3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.
      • Antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness, if you get the flu.
      • Antiviral drugs can make flu illness milder and shorten the time you are sick.
      • Higher risk individuals should contact their health care provider as soon as flu symptoms develop to be treated with antivirals.

    To find out more about antiviral medications to treat seasonal flu, please visit

    Is flu vaccine needed every year?

    Is there more than one type of flu shot available? – Yes. There are different flu vaccine manufacturers and multiple flu vaccines that are licensed and recommended for use in the United States. For people younger than 65 years, CDC does not preferentially recommend any licensed, age-appropriate influenza (flu) vaccine over another during the 2022-2023 flu season.

    1. Options for this age group include inactivated influenza vaccine, recombinant influenza vaccine, or live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), with no preference for any flu vaccine over another.
    2. New for this season: For people 65 years and older, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended over standard-dose, unadjuvanted flu vaccines.

    These are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine, More information is available at Flu & People 65 Years and Older, All flu vaccines for the 2022-2023 season are quadrivalent vaccines, designed to protect against four different flu viruses, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

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    Standard-dose flu shots that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. Several different brands of standard dose flu shots are available, including Afluria Quadrivalent, Fluarix Quadrivalent, FluLaval Quadrivalent, and Fluzone Quadrivalent. These vaccines are approved for use in children as young as 6 months. Most flu shots are given in the arm (muscle) with a needle. Afluria Quadrivalent can be given either with a needle (for people 6 months and older) or with a jet injector (for people 18 through 64 years only). A cell-based flu shot (Flucelvax Quadrivalent) containing virus grown in cell culture, which is approved for people 6 months and older. This vaccine is completely egg-free. A recombinant flu shot (Flublok Quadrivalent) which is a completely egg-free flu shot that is made using recombinant technology and is approved for use in people 18 years and older. This shot is made without flu viruses and contains three times the antigen (the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses) than other standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines, to help create a stronger immune response. An egg-based high dose flu shot (Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent), which is approved for use in people 65 years and older. This vaccine contains four times the antigen (the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses) than other standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines, to help create a stronger immune response. An egg-based adjuvanted flu shot (Fluad Quadrivalent), which is approved for people 65 years and older. This vaccine is made with an adjuvant (an ingredient that helps create a stronger immune response). An egg-based live attenuated flu nasal spray vaccine (FluMist Quadrivalent) made with attenuated (weakened) live flu viruses, which is approved for use in people 2 years through 49 years. This vaccine is not recommended for use in pregnant people, immunocompromised people, or people with certain medical conditions.

    There are many flu vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.

    Who is more vulnerable to the flu?

    Age – The CDC estimates that about 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in adults 65 years and older. Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are also at higher risk. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old, are at higher risk of complications from flu illness.

    Why did I get the flu even though I was vaccinated?

    You may feel sick after a flu shot, not because it gave you the flu but because of side effects that make you feel unwell. While the vaccine is derived from strains of the influenza virus, they are killed (inactivated) and, therefore, incapable of infecting you.

    • You can still get the flu after vaccination against it.
    • But if you do, it may be because you were exposed to the flu before or just after you received the shot.
    • You may have also had a weak immune response to the vaccine or be sick with something else entirely.
    • This article explores the reasons why you may get sick after the flu shot.

    It also explains how the vaccine may help reduce symptoms and complications if you do end up getting the flu. Verywell / Joshua Seong

    Can flu shot cause neurological problems?

    Several other neurological complications have been reported following receipt of influenza vaccines, including transverse myelitis, hypoglossal nerve paralysis, hemiparesis, meningoencephalitic syndrome, and ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis).

    Can flu shots weaken immune system?

    Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about the flu vaccine: – Q: Why should people get their seasonal flu shot? A: Having the flu can mean feeling under the weather for a few days, or it can result in serious illness. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself (and those around you) from getting the flu.

    1. With COVID-19 also circulating, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself.
    2. Flu vaccinations play a key role in keeping our whole community healthier and reducing the burden on our healthcare systems.
    3. Q: Can a flu vaccine give you flu? A: No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness.
    4. Flu shots are made with either inactivated viruses or with only a single protein from the flu virus.

    The nasal spray flu vaccine contains attenuated (weakened) live viruses so that they will not cause illness. Q: Does the flu shot weaken your immune system? A: No. The flu shot does not weaken your immune system or make you more likely to get the flu. Getting your annual flu shot prepares your immune system to fight off the flu.

    Q: Is it better to get sick with flu than to get a flu vaccine? A: No. The flu can be a serious disease. Young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes are at high risk for flu complications. Anyone can experience complications, hospitalization, or death, not just individuals who are at risk.

    Getting your annual flu shot is a safer choice than risking illness. Q: Do I need to get a flu vaccine every year? A: Yes. It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older (with rare exceptions ) receive an annual flu shot. The protection received from flu vaccination declines over time.

    Getting a flu shot every year provides the best protection against the flu. Also, flu viruses are constantly changing. Flu vaccines are updated as needed based on which flu virus is going around. Q: What about people who get a seasonal flu vaccine and still get sick with flu symptoms? A: There are a few reasons why someone might get flu symptoms, even after they’ve received their annual flu shot.1.

    People can become ill from other respiratory illnesses, such as rhinoviruses, that cause symptoms similar to the flu and spread during flu season. The flu vaccine does not protect against other illnesses, only influenza.2. It takes two weeks after you’ve received your flu shot for your body to develop protection.

    Individuals may become sick with the flu if they were exposed to flu viruses before or shortly after receiving their flu shot, as the vaccination did not have enough time to take effect.3. As mentioned before, flu viruses are constantly changing and flu vaccines are updated based on which flu virus is going around.

    Individuals may have been exposed to a flu virus that is different from the viruses the vaccine is designed to protect against. There are many different flu viruses that spread and cause illness among people. Flu vaccines vary in how well they work, This means that some people who do receive a flu shot will still get sick.

    1. Although some individuals may still get sick with the flu, flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the severity of illness in people who still get sick.
    2. Q: Does getting a flu vaccination increase your risk of COVID-19? A: No.
    3. There is no evidence that getting your annual flu vaccination increases your risk of getting sick from a coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19.

    Q: Can I get my flu vaccine at the same time as my COVID-19 vaccine or booster? A: Yes. The CDC recommends both flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines for those 6 months and older. If you’re due for both, you can get them at the same time. Just book one appointment slot and indicate on your patient form that you’d like to receive both shots.

    1. Some people prefer to get a shot in each arm to reduce discomfort.
    2. Q: Can seasonal flu vaccines or pneumonia vaccines protect you against COVID-19? A: No.
    3. Vaccines that protect you against the seasonal flu or pneumonia do not provide protection against COVID-19.
    4. COVID-19 is a different virus with its own vaccine.

    Schedule Your Flu Shot Sources: CDC Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Public Health Communications Collaborative

    Can the flu vaccine cause autoimmune response?

    Abstract – Vaccines have undoubtedly brought overwhelming benefits to mankind and are considered safe and effective. Nevertheless, they can occasionally stimulate autoantibody production or even a recently defined syndrome known as autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA).

    There is scarce data regarding autoimmune response after seasonal/influenza A (H1N1) vaccine in patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic disease (AIRD). The objective of our study was therefore to determine autoimmune response in a large group of AIRD patients vaccinated against seasonal and/or H1N1 influenza.

    We conducted a prospective cohort study with a 6-month follow-up. Two-hundred and eighteen patients with AIRD (50 vaccinated against seasonal influenza, six against H1N1, 104 against both, 58 non-vaccinated controls) and 41 apparently healthy controls (nine vaccinated against seasonal influenza, three against H1N1, 18 against both, 11 non-vaccinated controls) were included.

    Blood samples were taken and screened for autoantibodies at inclusion in the study, before each vaccination, 1 month after the last vaccination and 6 months after inclusion. For non-vaccinated participants (patients and healthy controls) blood samples were taken at the time of inclusion in the study and 6 months later.

    We report that after the administration of seasonal/H1N1 vaccine there were mostly transient changes in autoantibody production in AIRD patients and in healthy participants. However, a small subset of patients, especially ANA-positive patients, had a tendency towards anti-ENA development.

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    Although no convincing differences between the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines were observed, our results imply that there might be a slight tendency of the H1N1 vaccine towards aCL induction. Although seasonal and H1N1 vaccines are safe and effective, they also have the potential to induce autoantibodies in selected AIRD patients and healthy adults.

    Follow-up of such individuals is proposed and further research is needed.

    Does flu shot increase white blood cells?

    Remember that the flu shot is going to ‘teach’ these cells and your entire immune system how to deal with the influenza viruses should they enter your body. The more white blood cells that are present to respond to the viruses in the vaccine, the better.

    How long does the flu shot provide protection?

    How Long Does the Flu Shot Last? Here’s What Experts Say If you find yourself with those typical flu-like symptoms—fever, chills, nasal congestion, the works—you might start worrying that you’ve come down with the flu (yep, even when it’s not ). Wait: Didn’t you get the flu shot last year? And if that’s the case, how long does a flu shot last, exactly—and are you still covered? Here’s how long the flu shot is effective and what that means for when you should get your next one.

    CoughRunny or stuffy noseFeeling tiredBody aches or headachesSore throatRunny nose or congestionVomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

    People can spread it before they have symptoms and up to five or seven days after they get better (which can also take several days). You get it by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your nose or eye. People who are sick can also spread it when talking, coughing, or sneezing.

    Asthma Chronic kidney disease Heart disease

    In short: The flu shot can last as long as six months. The long answer is a little bit more complicated, partly because everybody is different. As a general rule, “the flu shot is most effective in the first three months, people still have protection after six months,”, pediatric infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone Health, told Health,

    1. Nowing how long the flu shot lasts is essential in determining when to get your flu shot each year.
    2. Flu season generally lasts from October to May but peaks from December through February.
    3. The CDC recommends getting the flu shot by the end of October.
    4. Unfortunately, if you get your flu shot in October of the previous year, you’re not covered the following October (and yes, that can matter since the flu technically exists year-round and only peaks during the flu season).

    If you got your shot later in the season of the previous year, such as March, unfortunately, you’re still not really covered at the end of the year of that year, even if you’re within the six-month range. The flu strains differ yearly (and so do the vaccines).

    Researchers “tweak” vaccines annually to account for changes in circulating strains. Even so, vaccine effectiveness can vary widely from year to year. For instance, the CDC estimated the flu shot’s effectiveness at during the 2009-2010 flu season, 60% during the 2010-2011 season, and 36% in 2021-2022.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which approves vaccines, doesn’t expect or guarantee the vaccine will entirely prevent the flu. Several studies have also shown that vaccine effectiveness decreases each month after you get it. Still, the vaccine makes severe illness and hospitalization less likely, especially if you have a condition that makes you more vulnerable.

    It’s best to get the flu shot yearly—unless you’re severely allergic to the vaccine or are six months of age or younger. While the flu shot isn’t 100% effective, it can prevent the flu from, The flu shot is effective for about three to six months. And because the flu makes millions of people sick each year and is pretty contagious, health organizations recommend that nearly everyone older than 6 months get a flu vaccine annually, preferably around the start of flu season.

    While the shot won’t fully protect you, it reduces your odds of getting it or getting very sick, especially if you are in a high-risk group. If you have any questions or concerns about getting a flu shot, reach out to your healthcare provider. Thanks for your feedback! : How Long Does the Flu Shot Last? Here’s What Experts Say

    How effective is the current flu vaccine?

    T he influenza vaccine has worked fairly well this season, preventing serious flu cases and hospitalizations across age groups, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Flu shot efficacy varies from year to year, since different strains of the virus circulate each flu season.

    Experts do their best to tailor the shots to the strains expected to spread, but it’s not always a perfect fit. In some years, flu shot efficacy doesn’t break 30%. So far, however, this season’s flu shots have been 71% effective at preventing symptomatic illness among children and 54% effective at preventing cases resulting in medical care among people younger than 65, according to a CDC report published Feb.23 and based on data from Wisconsin.

    While those data are state-specific and based on a fairly small patient sample, the report notes that influenza strains circulating in Wisconsin tracked with those seen nationally.

    Which is the best way to help prevent the flu from becoming a pandemic?

    Practice Good Health Habits The single best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is to get each year, but good health habits like avoiding people who are sick, covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like flu. There also are that can be used to treat and prevent flu Why Should Healthcare Workers Get The Flu Shot Seasonal flu vaccines protect against the four flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. There are several, The tips and resources below will help you learn about additional actions you can take to protect yourself and others from flu and help stop the spread of germs.

      1. Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
      2. Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
      3. Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.
      4. Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
        • Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers
        • Hand washing resources from the It’s A SNAP program, aimed at preventing school absenteeism by promoting clean hands. From the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention, a collaborative project of the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cleaning Institute.
      5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
      6. Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

    In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, local governments or public health departments may recommend additional precautions be taken in your community. Follow those instructions. Why Should Healthcare Workers Get The Flu Shot Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), are actions – apart from getting vaccinated or taking medicine – that people and communities can take to help slow the spread of illnesses like flu.

    • Find out about plans your child’s school, childcare program, and/or college has if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs and whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site.
    • Make sure your child’s school, childcare program, and/or college routinely cleans frequently touched objects and surfaces, and that they have a good supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes on-site.
    • Ask how sick students and staff are separated from others and who will care for them until they can go home, and about the absentee policy for sick students and staff.

    Learn more about preventing the flu, common questions and answers, and poster materials for schools: Learn more about for schools and childcare programs.

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