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Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine has to be administered every year since the vaccine is updated for newer strains of the flu virus. While adults are given the flu vaccine in one doses, children need to take 2 doses. Infants must not be given this vaccine nor anyone who is running temperature. If a person is allergic to eggs or egg products, he must not use the flu vaccine. You can get the flu vaccine from your doctor or public health center. In most cases, flu vaccines are administered around September to November, though it can be given at any time of the year.


Often people do not take the influenza vaccine believing that it is not very effective. Getting vaccinated with the flu vaccine is no guarantee against flu infection but the symptoms are usually milder. The efficacy of the vaccine is different for different individuals. It also hinges on the intensity of the flu epidemic. Since 2003, there is an option of nasal mist vaccine against influenza. But it must be used with caution and on a doctor's advice. It is likely to induce side effects that mimic flu-like symptoms. It is not recommended for young children, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is an inactivated vaccine comprising dead virus. This vaccine is usually recommended for administration before the onset of the flu season. Seasonal flu vaccines protect against the three influenza viruses that would be common during the following season. The virus in the vaccine are subject to change each year based on international surveillance about the types and strains of viruses that would circulate in a given year. Antibodies that provide protection against the flu develop in the body after about 2 weeks on administration of the vaccine. This prevents flu from occurring in the person.

Different types of flu vaccines

Regular flu shot – for kids 6 months and older

High-dose flu shot – for people above 65 years of age

Intra dermal flu shot - for people aged between 18 and 64 years of age


The nasal-spray flu vaccine can be used on people aged between 2 and 49; however they have to be healthy to receive the vaccination in this form. It is recommended for everyone to get vaccinated before the onset of flu season. However people falling under the below mentioned categories are advised to get vaccinated against flu.

  • Children younger than 5, especially children younger than 2 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People suffering certain chronic medical conditions
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Healthcare workers


Influenza

Influenza or Flu affects millions every year. This viral infection is contagious and affects adults and children. Older people, kids and those with reduced immune systems are more likely to catch the flu virus. Older people, kids and those with reduced immune systems are more likely to catch the flu virus. Influenza is caused by three types strains of viruses — influenza A, B and C. An attack of influenza helps the body develop antibodies to a particular strain of flu virus but not against new strains. New strains of flu virus keep developing.


Typically symptoms associated with flu are fatigue, headache, runny nose, cough and loss of appetite. The patient suffers from high fever too. There may be sore throat and muscle aches. Often a person suffering from influenza has vomiting and diarrhea. Flu virus spread through coughing and sneezing. Infection can spread very easily.


Though often home care is sufficient for treating influenza, anti-viral medication may be prescribed. These medicines can reduce the severity and length of the influenza attack. The Flu vaccine is touted as ideal for those who are at increased risk for contracting influenza and developing serious complications as a consequence.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 16, 2017