What Is Influenza Virus Nasal Vaccine
Influenza virus is a contagious disease caused by a virus that can spread from one person to another through the air or on surfaces. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, tiredness, aches, sore throat, cough, vomiting, and diarrhea. The flu can also cause sinus infections, ear infections, bronchitis, or serious complications such as pneumonia.
Influenza causes thousands of deaths each year, and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations. Influenza is most dangerous in children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with weak immune systems or health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
Influenza virus nasal vaccine is for use in people 2 years to 49 years old, to prevent infection caused by influenza virus. This vaccine helps your body develop immunity to the disease, but will not treat an active infection you already have.
Influenza virus vaccine is redeveloped each year to contain specific strains of flu virus that are recommended by public health officials for that year.
Nasal influenza virus vaccine is made from “live viruses.” Influenza virus vaccine is also available as an injection which is a “killed virus” vaccine. This medication guide addresses only the nasal form of this vaccine.
Like any vaccine, nasal flu vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.
Why Is The Flu Vaccine Recommended
While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it still greatly lowers a person’s chances of catching the flu, which can be very serious. It also can make symptoms less severe if someone who got the vaccine does still get the flu.
If you got the flu vaccine last year, it can’t provide enough protection this year, because flu viruses change. That’s why the vaccine is updated each year to include the most current types of the virus.
Sometimes the same virus types are included in the vaccine from one year to the next. Even then, it’s still important to get the yearly flu vaccine because the body’s immunity against the influenza virus declines over time.
Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you from the flu. It also helps protect the people and community around you. The flu vaccine makes someone less likely to get the flu, and therefore less likely to spread the flu. Getting the flu vaccine is a great way to protect people who are at risk from flu, such as the elderly, babies, and people with health conditions such as asthma. Every year thousands of people die from influenza, and getting the flu vaccine is one way to help prevent that.
Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
A few symptoms set a sinus infection apart from influenza and other common winter ailments, like a cold. One is the quality of mucous that you end up with when you have sinusitis. When theres an issue with the sinuses, the mucous is usually thick and green or yellow. Its also common for people with sinusitis to have post-nasal drip and to feel constantly stuffed up and congested.
The built-up mucous and congestion can also lead to facial pain and sinus headaches. You might feel an intense pressure behind your eyes and forehead. Although people with sinus infections might feel a bit tired because they have trouble sleeping, they usually dont have the fatigue thats associated with the flu. Sinusitis also doesnt typically cause fevers.
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What Other Drugs Will Affect Influenza Virus Nasal Vaccine
Anyone 2 to 17 years old receiving a nasal flu vaccine should not take aspirin for at least 4 weeks after the vaccine. A possible interaction between nasal flu vaccine and aspirin can cause a serious or fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome.
Before receiving this vaccine, tell your vaccination provider about all other vaccines you have recently received.
Other drugs may affect influenza virus nasal vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.
When To Get A Flu Shot
Since the timing of the onset, peak, and end of flu season changes from year to year and cannot be predicted, it is difficult to pinpoint the best time for getting vaccinated.
For people taking these or other drugs that suppress the immune system, the optimum time to receive a flu shot is from October to mid-November.
Flu shots are generally available in early September. The flu shot should be scheduled well before the flu season starts to get busy because it can take one to two weeks for the shot to take effect.
Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, with some activity as late as May. Therefore, the vaccination could be given even later, if necessary, because receiving a shot late is better than not getting one at all.
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What Are The Benefits Of Flu Vaccination
There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.
Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu.
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working-age adults, and older adults.
Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Flu vaccination also has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.
Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
Flu vaccines can be lifesaving in children.
Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
Myth #: The Flu Vaccine Isn’t Safe For Pregnant Women
Studies show flu vaccines are safe for women in any stage of pregnancy, the CDC says. There are several reasons why it’s important for pregnant women to get a flu shot, Schaffner said.
“Pregnant women, when they get influenza, have a tendency to get a more severe disease,” and are at increased risk for complications and hospitalization from the disease, Schaffner said.
In addition, flu vaccination in pregnancy helps to protect the baby against flu during the first six months of life, when the baby is too young to receive a flu shot, Schaffner said. The mother “passes that protection on to her newborn baby,” Schaffner said.
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How Can You Treat A Flu
Saline nasal sprays are a simple but fairly effective treatment for acute sinus infections. You can get these from your local pharmacy, and spray them into your nose to help clear out mucus a few times a day. A neti pot, a type of vessel with a “trunk” a bit like an elephant’s to help irrigate your nose, likewise with a saline solution, can be used instead. Which one you prefer is up to you.
You may also opt to take over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol to alleviate your discomfort.
Nasal decongestants can literally take some of the pressure off, and your pharmacist will be happy to recommend one, but they should only be used for a short time to prevent side effects and a worsening of symptoms.
Some cases of sinusitis can be complicated, but if you get a sinus infection after a flu, you likely won’t need imaging tests or even antibiotics. Even if the cause of your sinusitis is bacterial in origin, as it is likely to be following influenza, your body will probably be able to fight the infection off without the help of antibiotics. They may be necessary if:
- Your symptoms don’t improve after a week
- You feel really bad
- You have a weakened immune system
What Side Effects Can Occur After Getting A Flu Vaccine
While a flu vaccine cannot give you flu illness, there are different side effects that may be associated with getting a flu shot or a nasal spray flu vaccine. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of a bad case of flu.
A flu shot: The viruses in a flu shot are killed , so you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may occur are:
Soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given
The nasal spray: The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. In children, side effects from the nasal spray may include:
In adults, side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include:
If these problems occur, they begin soon after vaccination and usually are mild and short-lived. A flu shot, like other injections, can occasionally cause fainting. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears. As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injuries, or death.
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Why Should I Get The Flu Shot
Cancer treatment can weaken the immune system and put people with cancer at an increased risk for problems from the flu. These problems can include dehydration, sinus and ear infections, and bronchitis, which is inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. More serious problems include pneumonia, sepsis , and inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscle tissues.
What About The Nasal Spray Vaccine
In addition to the flu shot, a nasal spray vaccine is available for non-pregnant individuals who are between the ages of 2 and 49. This vaccine uses a weakened form of influenza that cant cause disease.
As with the flu shot, people who have a mild illness can receive the nasal spray vaccine. However, people with moderate to severe illnesses may need to wait until theyve recovered.
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Why Are We Worrying About Flu If Covid
People sometimes think a bad cold is flu but having flu can be much worse than a cold and you may need to stay in bed for a few days. Flu can be a very serious illness with large numbers of people hospitalised with complications and thousands of deaths in England every year. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of flu. For them, it can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia or can make existing conditions worse. New research from PHE suggests that co-infection of both flu and COVID-19 is associated with a greater risk of more severe illness and death. It is really important that those who are in at-risk groups are vaccinated so that they can be protected this winter.
What’s New With The 2021
There are many types of flu virusesand each consistently changes. This means that the U.S. flu vaccines are reviewed every year to prevent against the currently circulating flu viruses. This year’s vaccines are all “quadrivalent,”according to the CDC, meaning they’re designed to protect against four different viruses that cause the flu.
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Does My Child Need A Second Dose
Almost all children will only need one dose of the flu vaccine.
However, if your child is under 9 years old they’ll need a second dose 4 weeks after the first if they:
- have a health condition and this was their first time getting the flu vaccine â this’ll make sure their immunity has fully built up
- were given the injectable vaccine and this was their first time getting the flu vaccine â even if they don’t have a health condition
Your health professional will advise you if your child needs a second dose.
What Should I Discuss With My Healthcare Provider Before Receiving This Vaccine
You should not receive this vaccine if you are allergic to eggs, or if you have:
- a history of severe allergic reaction to any flu vaccine or
- if you are between 2 and 17 years old and have recently taken aspirin.
Nasal flu vaccine is not approved for use by children younger than 2 years or adults older than 49 years.
You should not receive a nasal flu vaccine if you have used:
- oseltamivir or zanamivir in the past 48 hours
- peramivir in the past 5 days or
- baloxavir in the past 17 days.
You may not be able to receive this vaccine if you have certain medical conditions. Tell the vaccination provider if you have:
- asthma, wheezing, or other breathing problems
- a history of wheezing
- a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks after receiving a flu vaccine
- a weak immune system
- heart problems
- kidney disease or
If you are unable to receive a nasal influenza vaccine due to a medical condition, you may be able to get an injectable influenza vaccine instead.
You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.
Tell your vaccination provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Nasal flu vaccine is not recommended for use in pregnant women. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women get a flu shot during any trimester of pregnancy to protect themselves and their newborn babies from flu.
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The Bottom Line On Flu Shots And Side Effects
It’s normal to feel soreness, redness, tenderness, or even develop a mild fever or body aches during the two days after you get vaccinatedthats just your immune response, not the flu illness itself.
So theres no reason to avoid getting the flu shot because you think itll make you sick. Unless you have severe or life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredients in it, you should roll up your sleeves for one each year, the CDC says .
Getting sick with the flu is more dangerous than many people think. While most people will recover, some people can develop complications from the influenza virus, which can include sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the heart , brain , or muscle . It can even be deadly.
Can A Flu Shot Make You Get Sick
It isnt out of the ordinary to react to the flu shot, as its simply a sign that your immune system getting to work protecting you. Common responses include a sore arm, headache, nausea, muscle aches or a mild fever. The vaccine itself is adapted every year, Dr. Ford says. So its very hard to predict, from one year to the next, if youre going to have a mild reaction, no reaction or a more problematic reaction.
However, if you do get sick after getting a flu shot, its not because of the vaccine. The only direct reactions to the shot are going to happen within the first 24 to 48 hours, Dr. Ford affirms. As mentioned before, if you get sick after that, people might think its related to getting the flu shot. But its just a coincidence.
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Should People With Cancer And Cancer Survivors Get The Flu Vaccine
This post is reviewed and updated each year in time for the U.S. flu season. It was first published October 3, 2019.
Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine. If you are a person with cancer, a survivor, or a caregiver, the flu could be even more dangerous for you or your loved ones. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor about the vaccine. Make sure you get your flu shot this fall!
How Does The Flu Spread
The flu spreads easily from person to person. When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or speaks, the virus spreads through the air. Your baby can get infected with the flu if she breathes the virus in or if she touches something that has the flu virus on it and then touches her nose, eyes or mouth.
People with the flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before they get sick up to 5 to 7 days after. People who are very sick with the flu or young children may be able to spread the flu longer, especially if they still have symptoms.
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Why Is The Flu Vaccine So Important This Year
COVID-19 is still likely to be circulating during the flu season. This means it is more important than ever to have the flu vaccination. The flu vaccine is critical to help protect the general health of everyone in the UK, particularly those who are most at risk from both COVID-19 and flu. New research from PHE suggests that co-infection of both flu and COVID-19 is associated with a greater risk of more severe illness and death. It is also important to minimise the number of people becoming unwell with flu this winter in order to protect the NHS. Flu can develop into a serious illness that requires hospitalisation and add to the pressure on the NHS and social care when they may also be dealing with cases of COVID-19.
Children With Egg Allergies
Children with an egg allergy can safely have the nasal spray flu vaccine, unless they’ve had a life-threatening reaction to eggs that required intensive care.
An egg-free injectable vaccine which can be used in those from 2 years of age is available. If you’re affected, please speak to your immunisation nurse for advice.
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