The flu shot is the yearly vaccine against the deadly virus influenza or commonly known as the flu. Influenza can cause serious illness, especially in young children, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women and those who have deteriorating health conditions.
The flu season starts at the beginning of fall and continues during the whole winter season. It peaks around January and February. The ideal time to get the flu shots is before the end of October. The yearly outbreak is caused by two types of viruses known as influenza A and B.
New influenza vaccines are developed every year because the virus often undergoes mutation. The researchers use the preceding month’s data to develop the new vaccine that will be effective against the virus.
Here is the summary of the changes made in flu shots for the year 2017.
A recent study has shown that nasal spray (a type of flu shot) has not been very effective against the flu. A decision was taken by CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) that nasal spray will not be used as flu shot for this year. It is uncertain that the decision will be changed next year or not.
Flu shots have been termed as safe for those suffering from egg allergies. Previously, there was a recommendation of a person suffering from egg allergy to be watched for 30 minutes after taking the flu shots. This recommendation has been taken off now, as the study has shown that severe egg allergy caused by flu shot is a very unlikely situation.
A new vaccine named “Flucelvax” has been developed which is made from a virus that grows in animal cells. This vaccination is recommended for ages 4 and above. This type of vaccine is not considered 100% egg free because it is manufactured from a virus that is obtained from an egg source. There is another vaccine called “Flublok” that only contains protein from a virus that has grown in animal cells. It is 100% egg-free and is licensed for ages 18 and above.
A new vaccine called “Flaud” has been available for people aging 65 or above. The influenza rate is highest in this age group and they have the weaker immunity response to the previously made vaccines. This is a high dose flu shot which contains 4 times the viral antigen than that of a standard flu shot. It produces a much higher response against the influenza virus and decreases the risk of suffering from the flu.
According to CDC, there can be mild side effects of using flu shots. For instance swelling, soreness or redness can be felt in the injected area. Cases of aches and low-grade fever have also been recorded as a result of flu shots. Flu nasal spray can cause wheezing, headache, runny nose, and vomiting in children. Headache, cough, and sore throat are the side effects that are often caused in adults by nasal spray.
Summing it up, flu season is arriving and it is highly recommended for you to get yourself and your family vaccinated against influenza to enjoy an illness-free fall.