Why the flu vaccine is more important than ever this year

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While social distancing and mask-wearing have kept the 2021-2022 flu season milder than pre-pandemic levels, experts who expect flu cases to rise this year as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted are urging people to get a flu shot to prevent the nation’s healthcare system from getting sick. To be overwhelmed by influenza and epidemic.

David Sinemo, MD, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School discusses what you can do to protect yourself during the upcoming flu season.

What can we learn from last year’s flu season and what can we expect this year?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2021-2022 flu season was mild and driven by A (H3N2), a strain covered in last year’s vaccination and included in the 2022-2023 vaccines.

Centers for Disease Control Prime numbers From last season, 8,000,000 to 13,000,000 cases of flu, 82,000 to 170,000 hospitalized flu cases and 5,000 to 14,000 flu deaths. However, with the relaxation of precautions, we are seeing a rise in prices. Child deaths, for example, rose from one in the 2020-2021 season to 33 last season. By comparison, 199 children died of influenza in the 2019-20 flu season.

What is the best time to get a flu shot?

The CDC recommends that people 6 months of age or older receive flu vaccines, which are valid for about six months, by late October. The vaccine is effective for about six months, so if you are vaccinated too early, there is a chance that your immunity will wane. Some children may need a booster injection after the initial vaccination. Consult your doctor.

The nasal spray vaccine is an effective alternative for people ages 2 to 49 who have a normal immune system. not for pregnant womenChildren receiving aspirin or patients with asthma under the age of 4 years.

Can you get flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time?

yes. The CDC originally recommended a two-week spacing between COVID-19 and other vaccinations, because it was closely monitoring reactions to this new vaccine. You can now get a COVID-19 shot or a flu booster shot at the same time. Studies show that having them together does not affect efficacy.

Who is most likely to catch the flu?

Everyone 6 months of age or older should be vaccinated, but it is especially important for those at higher risk of complications and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 70% to 90% of annual influenza deaths occur in people over 65. Vaccination is important for people with chronic diseases Such as heart disease It is also important for caregivers and essential workers who are more likely to transmit the virus if they are not vaccinated.

Pregnant women should receive flu vaccine To prevent severe symptoms and help give some newborn babies immunity.

Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives also had higher rates of hospitalization and intensive care for influenza according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so influenza vaccination is important.

How can a person’s flu vaccination save lives?

As we’ve seen in asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, people can inadvertently catch the flu and seriously affect the elderly, children, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and people with HIV or lung disease. The more you suppress influenza through vaccination, the lower the chance of the virus mutating and infecting more people. You will also have lower viral loads and will shed the virus – and be contagious – for shorter periods of time.

How can the flu vaccine help me if I get the flu?

Getting a flu shot reduces your chances of getting sick. If you do, your illness will be less severe. a Study 2018 Influenza vaccination among adults was found to reduce the risk of admission to the intensive care unit with influenza by 59% and a 2014 study Show that vaccination against influenza reduces the risk of influenza infection in children Intensive care unit Acceptance rate is 74%.

How are coronavirus and influenza alike and different?

Both are spread mostly through respiratory droplets and contact. There appear to be more asymptomatic cases of coronavirus than there are cases of influenza, but both are able to spread before a person knows they are infected — about one to two days before symptoms appear.

Flu infections usually go away within a week, while coronavirus is around 10 days. Both can cause a range of illnesses ranging from mild to serious illness and death. Flu symptoms can be confused with COVID-19. If you start to feel sick, it is important to isolate and test for COVID-19 to rule it out.

Are flu vaccines safe?

Influenza vaccines are the most tested and adverse effects are small. Very rare side effects – such as an allergic reaction – can occur, but the risk is still lower than that of many other common medications. Unless someone has a stretch egg allergy Had an allergic reaction to flu vaccine In the past, they should have had the vaccine. If their allergy is serious, they should be monitored while taking the injection. Also, there are two vaccines that are not made in eggs: rIIV, which is a recombinant protein, and ccIIV, which is made in cell culture.

Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over others?

Yes, for some people. For 2022-2023 flu seasonthe CDC preferentially recommends three vaccines for people 65 years of age and older — the high-dose quadrivalent flu vaccine, Flublok’s quadrivalent flu vaccine — over the non-standard-dose flu shot. .

Can you get the flu from the flu vaccine?

The vaccine takes two weeks to be effective, so people can still catch the flu during this time. The vaccine exposes your body to a weakened form of the virus, which allows you to mount an immune response. Basically, you get the “little flu”, which is why some people may feel sick after getting vaccinated.

Experts say it’s time to get a flu shot

Presented by Rutgers University – New Brunswick

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