Flu Shot Facts You Should Know Before Getting the Vaccine

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You can spread the flu even if you don’t feel sick. Being infected won’t always cause symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and running a fever. But it CAN make you feel guilty.

People develop symptoms 1-4 days after exposure so you can spread the flu with out classic symptoms.  People are usually contagious 5-7 days after symptoms develop.

Older people are hit harder by the flu. During recent flu seasons, as many as 90 percent of related deaths were of people 65 and older. Other people at high risk of complications? Pregnant women, very young kiddos, and anyone with a long-term medical condition like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.

 

Kids under 5 can develop more severe flu complications in addition to adults over 65, pregnant women, kids and adults with chronic medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or any person who is immunocompromised.

This year’s flu shot should be better than last year’s. A series of small genetic changes can make a flu strain just different enough that your body doesn’t recognize it from the vaccine. Which is a bummer. That’s what happened last year, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention feel the 2015 formulation can now match mutational changes of three of the most common flu strains.

Yes!  Last year was not a very good match, it protected about 13% of people.  Most years it offers about 50-60% of people who get the shot.  Last year H3N2 showed up and it was not included in the flu vaccine.  CDC expects a better match this year.

You’re still not protected against flu-like viruses. Only 20 percent of flu-like illness are actually caused by two main influenza strains included in the flu vaccine. What does that mean? Well, there are still more than 200 bugs floating around that can make you sick – and which the flu shot is helpless to prevent.
Flu symptoms come on quickly all at once and you feel terrible.  Cough, sore throat, muscle aches, high fever, vomiting are a few symptoms.  There are many other viruses that circulate throughout the community during the winter months.  The stomach flu isn't usually the Flu virus but rather norovirus.  Other viruses are enterovirus and RSV.  Important to stay home when sick, wash hands and try not to touch your face.

Making a flu vaccine ain’t easy OR pretty. Your flu shot actually began its journey back in February. Scientists collected popular strains of flu viruses from around the world, injected them into millions of fertilized eggs, and allowed them to incubate and grow. The infected fluid’s since been harvested, purified, and tested for safety before coming to a syringe near you!

The Flu virus mutates and changes each year.  The CDC starts working on the flu vaccine in early winter for the following flu season.  This year the shot contains two Flu A types, H1N1 and H3N2 along with one B type in the trivalent and two B types in the quadvalent vaccine.  If you have an egg allergy you need to talk to your physician about egg free vaccines.  We recommend the flu shot for everyone older than 6 months.  Some people who are 2-49 years can get the Flu Mist.

 

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