WOMEN & BEAUTY What You Need to Know About The Flu Shot

What it’s good to know in regards to the “flu” vaccine for 2018 and solutions to ceaselessly requested questions

from Shopper Security, medically reviewed by Dr. C.H. Weaver M.D. 10/2018

​Flu season is right here once more, and moreover a fever and runny nostril, it may deliver in regards to the longtime controversy surrounding vaccines. With a view to defend extra human lives this yr and to make clear among the commonest misconceptions surrounding the flu vaccine, the workforce at Shopper Security.org met with Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious illness specialist at Vanderbilt Medical College. Beneath are solutions to among the commonest queries surrounding the flu vaccine.

What You Must Know for the 2018-2019 Flu Season

  • Flu vaccines have been up to date to raised match circulating viruses
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine (dwell attenuated influenza vaccine or “LAIV”) is once more a beneficial choice for influenza vaccination of individuals for whom it’s in any other case applicable. The nasal spray is permitted to be used in non-pregnant people, 2 years by way of 49 years of age. There’s a precaution in opposition to the usage of LAIV for folks with sure underlying medical circumstances. All LAIV might be quadrivalent (four-component).

How is the Flu Vaccine Created?

Opposite to standard perception, the flu vaccine you obtain this yr shouldn’t be the identical vaccine that you just obtained final yr. The flu, also called influenza, is a respiratory virus that is ready to mutate and evolve over time. In line with Dr. Schaffner, the virus can “change generally from yr to yr, maybe each 2-Three years.” Due to this fact, the vaccine wants to vary and evolve as nicely to maintain folks protected yearly.

As a result of elements of the world expertise flu season on the reverse time that we do, there are literally two vaccines developed yearly – one for the northern hemisphere and one for the southern hemisphere. Every vaccine is developed 9 months previous to flu season in a collaborative effort between the World Well being Group (WHO), the FDA, and the CDC. whose knowledgeable committees can “make suggestions in regards to the creation of the vaccine” for every half of the world.

Who Wants the Flu Vaccine?

Everyone seems to be in danger for the flu, and subsequently with a couple of exceptions, everyone seems to be beneficial to get vaccinated. In line with the CDC, everybody six months or older ought to obtain an annual flu shot. Opposite to standard perception, this suggestion contains pregnant ladies, seniors, and youngsters. It’s additionally essential to notice that not solely is it secure for pregnant ladies, however the mom’s vaccine will really defend the toddler for six months after its start.

In milder circumstances of the flu, an individual experiences cold-like signs. Nevertheless, in its most extreme type, the flu can result in issues like pneumonia and even demise. In line with Dr. Schaffner, these most in danger for extra severe issues embrace “people who find themselves age 65 and older, and individuals who have underlying sicknesses – coronary heart illness, lung illness, diabetes, and the like who’re immunosuppressed.” By receiving the vaccine, not solely are you defending your self from this dangerous virus, however you’re additionally defending these round you who might need a tougher time preventing the flu.

Moreover infants below the age of 6 months outdated, individuals who have Guillain-Barre syndrome, a really uncommon sickness ought to NOT get the vaccination. Dr. Schaffner says that “if you happen to’ve had Guillain-Barré syndrome inside 6 weeks of getting flu vaccine beforehand, you most likely mustn’t get flu vaccine this time.”

When Ought to a Particular person Get the Flu Vaccine?

Dr. Schaffner recommends anytime between September and November and went on to elucidate that “vaccine curiosity on the a part of suppliers and sufferers stops round Thanksgiving.” Nevertheless, although our curiosity might wane, the height season for flu outbreaks is usually in February. So if it hits December or January and you continue to haven’t gotten your flu shot, Dr. Schaffner urges you to go to your nearest flu clinic. “RUN! Don’t stroll. Run and get your flu shot, as a result of you possibly can nonetheless get safety earlier than the flu hits most severely.”

Can the Flu Vaccine Give Somebody the Flu?

No. After a flu shot, it’s possible you’ll expertise a headache, sore arm, redness, or a bump close to the inoculation web site, however the vaccine can not provide the virus. As Dr. Schaffner explains, “The flu vaccine shouldn’t be the whole virus. It’s damaged up items of the virus. It may possibly’t reconstitute itself and provide the flu.” The flu shot is run throughout a season with excessive charges of colds and different airborne infections. Oftentimes when folks get sick after a flu shot, they mistake a standard chilly for the flu by easy coincidence.

Is the Flu Vaccine All the time Efficient?

No, the flu shot shouldn’t be 100% efficient. In an age of money-back ensures, many critics surprise why they need to hassle with a flu shot after they may nonetheless contract the virus. Dr. Schaffner argues that, “the safety effectiveness is measured as safety in opposition to the illness fully. What that doesn’t inform you is that you just typically get partial safety.” So that you get a flu shot, and you continue to get the flu. The flu shot remains to be doing its half by lessening the severity of the virus. In terms of a virus that takes tens of hundreds of lives per yr on account of issues of excessive fever and pneumonia, Dr. Schaffner welcomes your complaints saying, “It’s great that you just’re right here to complain. You didn’t die!” A light case of the flu is healthier than a lethal case of the flu.

With the flu killing 30,000 to 40,000 people in the USA, it’s crucial that extra folks acknowledge the risks of the virus and the advantages of the vaccine. Whereas the vaccine shouldn’t be 100% efficient, docs and scientists work diligently yearly to avoid wasting as many individuals as potential from this lethal illness. You can also make a distinction too! Make the step in direction of well being for you and your loved ones this flu season and schedule your flu vaccination immediately.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2018-2019.htm
  2. Well being and Security Investigator with ConsumerSafety.org
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