What is a flu vaccine?
Influenza (flu) vaccines (often called “flu shots”) are vaccines that protect against the four influenza viruses, that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Flu vaccines are “flu shots” given with a needle, usually in the arm.
What are the benefits of flu vaccines?
Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
- During seasons when flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses, flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40% to 60%.
- It can reduce flu illnesses, visits to doctor’s offices, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as, make symptoms less severe and reduce flu-related hospitalisations and deaths.
Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
- A 2021 study showed that among adults hospitalised with flu, vaccinated patients had a 26% lower risk of been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and a 31% lower risk of death from flu compared with those who were unvaccinated.
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalisation.
- Flu vaccine prevents tens of thousands of hospitalisations each year. For example, during 2019-2020 flu vaccination prevented an estimated 105,000 flu-related hospitalisations.
Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with certain chronic health conditions.
- Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who have had a cardiac event in the past year.
- Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of a flu-related worsening of chronic lung disease (e.g, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) requiring hospitalisation).
Flu vaccine can be lifesaving in children.
- A 2022 study showed that flu vaccination reduced children’s risk of severe life-threatening influenza by 75%
Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
*References for the studies listed above: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/benefit-publications.htm
Who should get a flu vaccine?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza.
Who should not get a flu vaccine?
- Children younger than 6 months of age are too young to get a flu shot.
- People with severe, life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in a flu vaccine (other than egg proteins) should not get that vaccine. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients.
- People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a dose of influenza vaccine should not get that flu vaccine again and might not be able to receive other influenza vaccines. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine in the past, it is important to talk with your health care provider to help determine whether vaccination is appropriate for you.
Common Flu Signs and Symptoms
Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever*/feeling feverish or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
What actions can be taken to prevent flu?
- The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
- Flu vaccines help to reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths each year.
- This season, all flu vaccines will be designed to protect against the four flu viruses that research indicates will be most common.
- Vaccination of people at higher risk of developing serious flu complications is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
- People at higher risk of serious flu complications include young children, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older.
- Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for people at higher risk to keep from spreading flu to them. This is especially true for people who work in long-term care facilities, which are home to many of the people most vulnerable to flu.
- Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu illness but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.
- Take everyday preventive actions that are recommended to reduce the spread of flu.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause flu.
To get your flu vaccine today, contact us on 072 584 7159 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, we offer on site vaccines.