Influenza viruses cause flu, a highly contagious respiratory illness. Flu affects the lungs, throat, and nose and can cause mild to severe illness. You can prevent flu by getting a flu vaccine every year.
Read on to learn key facts about the flu shot.
Influenza is a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Every flu season is different and the infection can affect people differently. However, getting vaccinated against flu is helpful to reduce the risk of hospitalizations, flu illnesses, and flu-related deaths.
There are different types of flu vaccines available, including:
The timing, severity, and length of the flu season vary every year. Getting vaccinated before the viruses spread in your community will protect you, your family and friends from the infection.
The effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies every season depending on people’s health conditions and age, the virus type and subtype, and the vaccine type. The flu seasons’ data from 2010 to 2017 indicates that nasal spray vaccination lacked effectiveness against H1N1 viruses. However, a new H1N1 vaccine virus is being used in the production of the nasal flu vaccine. Some data indicate that the new H1N1 vaccine virus used in the nasal flu shot will result in improved effectiveness against H1N1 viruses. Based on this data, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend nasal flu shot spray this season.
A flu vaccine may cause side effects in some patients depending on their age and health conditions. These side effects are mild and last one to two days.
A flu shot can cause side effects such as:
You can get the flu even after you have been vaccinated if you are:
A flu vaccine requires two weeks to develop immunity and antibodies in your body that protect against the flu virus. Until then, you can spread the flu even after being vaccinated.
You should get vaccinated before the flu season begins or viruses start spreading in your community. This season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the end of October is the best time to get a flu vaccine.
A flu vaccine is offered at:
You need a flu vaccine every year for two reasons: