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How early should you get the flu shot? Like now, according to the experts. "The best time to get vaccinated is late September," says Darria Long Gillespie, M.D., an ER doctor and author of Mom Hacks. Though peak flu season typically doesn't hit until December, "you want to ensure you have protection before the season arrives—as early as October—and still be protected through the end of the season, which can be as late as May."
If you wait until people in your office start getting sick to get your shot, it might already be too late.
The best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu is to be vaccinated. Yet many people hesitate to receive their shots. We asked experts to weigh in on what you need to know about the vaccine, its side effects and more.
Scientists have tested in animals a vaccine that may protect against 20 strains of influenza, helping to prevent another pandemic.
We’ve seen off smallpox, polio and measles – so why does a truly reliable flu jab still elude us?
But even a low probability of working is better than none. Meanwhile, scientists are working on a way to make a more effective vaccine. They are hoping to find antigens that correspond to the parts of the virus that stay the same, even when the rest of the virus doesn't. Such a universal vaccine could protect against any variant of the flu virus and would become a one shot deal.
Only the flu shot is taken annually, but new advances are getting us closer to making that a thing of the past with a lifesaving universal flu vaccine.
Yes, the flu vaccine is not perfect. Its effectiveness in reducing your risk of the flu tends to range between 30% and 60%, depending on how well the strains in the vaccine match the circulating strains and how nasty the circulating strains are that year. But besides really good sushi, nothing is perfect in life. As they say, perfect is the enemy of good.
It’s time once again to answer that age old question: to flu shot or not. Should we roll up our sleeves (or in some cases, unbuckle our belts to lower our pants) and suffer a moment or two of needle pain in order to avoid the possibility of coming down with a much more serious and sometimes deadly case of influenza?
Flu vaccinations have become an annual event in most developed countries, yet the flu continues to affect tens of millions of people each year and causes 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide. So, what's wrong? Is the flu virus smarter than us?
Are you feeling under the weather? How do you know if its the Flu or just the common cold? Are Flu Shots the ultimate solution? Brush up here on all you need to know about Flu and the Flu Shot!
The methods used to make flu vaccines are slow and sometimes unreliable, and new viruses threaten to outrun them. Can researchers find a way to stay ahead?
The flu vaccine is big business. CNBC examines what goes into a flu shot and why they’re still grown in chicken eggs.
Viruses mutate, and that can make it difficult to manufacture effective vaccines.
"It’s a myth that you can get flu from the flu vaccine," Schaffner said.
The viruses in the flu shot are killed, so people cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine. However, because it takes about two weeks for people to build up immunity after they get the flu vaccine, some people may catch the flu shortly after their vaccinated, if they are exposed to the flu during this time period.
Different flu viruses circulate each year, which is why annual vaccination is required. “We know that flu vaccines aren’t perfect,” Price said, noting that they’re typically 40% to 60% effective each year.
When dealing with those pushing pseudoscience, like the antivaccination cult, the most frustrating thing is that they tend to ignore and deny the most basic tenets of science. If denying the fact of gravity would further their goals of “proving” vaccines are neither effective nor safe, they would do so. For all I know, they have.
I’m here to point out what real doctors and scientists are saying about the nonsense anti-vaccine proponents are spouting. You’re a smart person. Please do the research. The outcomes are important.
It's true that flu vaccines don't work spectacularly well, at least according to the best evidence we have (and most of the evidence on flu vaccines is of poor methodological quality). But the downsides to getting a vaccine are extremely minimal, and flu shots may still be helpful in reducing some illness and saving lives, which is why public health experts say you should get vaccinated anyway.
I haven't had the flu or a flu shot for almost a decade, but that's a weak argument against vaccination.
Among flu viruses, H3N2 is the one you should fear the most. It lands the most patients in hospitals. It kills the most people. Oh, and bad news: The flu shot has real trouble fighting it.
Exactly how effective are immunization programs against the flu? It’s actually very difficult to say for sure — though it’s nothing close to 100%.
But here’s something all those “get vaccinated” messages don’t usually emphasise: Getting vaccinated isn’t really about you — it’s about protecting society as a whole.
Manufacturers have from February to June to try to figure out which strains will be most active during the upcoming season. Once they get that sorted out – which is approximated from the strains that are circulating in the southern hemisphere (where it is winter while we have summer) – they have to rush to get it manufactured, in order to have it available by August, when the buyers are looking for it.
Then it’s business as usual with aggressive advertising, fear tactics and mandatory threats in certain workplaces (like hospitals).
But is the shot safe and is it actually effective?
Can the Flu Shot do More Harm than Good?
Because I want to help you stay healthy – as our bone health more often than not reflects our overall health – I will go over the myths and the scientific truths about the flu and the flu shots. With this information in hand, you’ll have the tools to make an educated decision about getting the flu shot or not
Are drug companies really more dangerous than the flu virus?
The specific complaint at issue is whether or not oseltamivir prevents secondary complications of influenza like hospitalization and pneumonia. Although you wouldn’t guess that was at issue from the reporting.
Your flu shot is one of the world's most educated guesses.
Two common reasons people give for avoiding the flu shot are 1) it will give me the flu and 2) it won’t work. Neither are accurate.
How well the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent flu illness) can range widely from season to season. The vaccine’s effectiveness also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated.
People grumble a lot about the shortcomings of the flu vaccine, which some years offers less protection than expected. (Warning: This year may be one of them.) What they may not know is that the source of at least some of the problems is a common item found in all grocery stores and many fridges.
Findings from three important Cochrane reviews on the effectiveness of the influenza vaccination aren’t consistent with the advice we’re been given.
It’s that time of year again. No, not the holidays—we’re talking about the flu. But with half of parents believing that flu vaccines can cause the flu, call it the season of misinformation.
Flu vaccines make pharma companies $3 billion a year and aren't very effective. Without a Manhattan Project-style initiative to modernize immunizations, things aren’t going to get any better.
It’s that time of year again – the trip to the chemist, the little room, the little jab. Eva Wiseman reveals why avoiding actual flu is not the only reason she loves having the shot.
For decades, scientists have been trying to develop a universal vaccine that would protect people against seasonal flu for years, and also against pandemics, which emerge when viral strains completely novel to people’s immune systems start spreading. “A universal flu vaccine is often referred to as ‘The Holy Grail’ of influenza research, and like the Holy Grail, it is challenging to achieve,” Tamar Ben-Yedidia, chief scientific officer of BiondVax, whose universal flu vaccine is now in Phase 3 clinical trials, tells The Scientist in an email.
It has been about 20 years in the making to get to the point of a Phase 3 study—the first universal flu vaccine to have progressed to that stage—and there are numerous others following behind. All of these vaccines employ variations on a similar strategy, which is to generate immunity to parts of the virus that are the least variable from strain to strain.
Fewer than 50% get vaccinated annually, putting old and young at risk
Imagine the action of a vaccine not just in terms of how it affects a single body, but also in terms of how it affects the collective body of a community — Eula Biss, author of On Immunity
Doctors find promising leads on a replacement for the current annual influenza shots, which vary in their success depending on the strain of virus.
At first glance, that response makes sense: If a vaccine won’t protect you from illness, why take it? But the effectiveness of flu vaccine is more complex than the binary of Sick or Not Sick. People who get the shot may still end up with flu infection, yet because they got the shot, they are less likely to experience grueling symptoms, be admitted to the hospital, or die.
Vaccinating pregnant women won’t just save lives now, it can help developing countries fight future pandemics.
Delivery platforms continue to evolve, yet progress in antigen selection has been lagging. To optimize our influenza vaccines, we need both.
Computational approaches can help fulfill the promise of creating a universal flu vaccine.
A new universal flu vaccine protects against influenza B viruses, offering broad defense against different strains and improved immune protection, according to a new study by researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University. "Our next aim is to combine the influenza A nanoparticles from our previous study with the influenza B nanoparticles we have fabricated and tested here to create a multivalent universal influenza nanoparticle vaccine against both influenza A and B," Wang said.
Given that it takes a long time to grow the vaccine to make a flu shot, why not make several versions and pick the most effective at the time of flu shot injections?
In the U.S., the main lines of defense are pharmaceutical—vaccines and antiviral drugs to limit the spread of flu and prevent people from dying from it. Yet now some flu experts are challenging the medical orthodoxy and arguing that for those most in need of protection, flu shots and antiviral drugs may provide little to none. So where does that leave us if a bad pandemic strikes?
Every year the mainstream media war drum beats for you to get vaccinated against the flu. They rarely discuss anything but the benefits of the vaccine.
Maybe it is because many people are already skeptical about the flu vaccine.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine. Seasonal flu vaccines have a very good safety track record.
Getting a flu shot often protects you from coming down with the flu. And although the flu shot doesn't always provide total protection, it's worth getting.
Many people worry about side effects from the flu shot, but serious complications are rare. Some people believe that they can actually get the flu from receiving the shot, but this is not the case. For the majority of people, the risks of developing the flu are far greater than any risks associated with the vaccine.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. People with egg allergies should check with their doctors before getting a vaccine. Other exceptions are people who have
•Had reactions to flu shots before
If you're at risk of complications from flu, make sure you have your annual flu vaccine, available each year usually from October onwards.
There are two types of flu vaccine:
•the injected flu vaccine for adults and children under two
•nasal spray flu vaccine for children over the age of two.
A Cochrane review found that the available evidence regarding the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older is of poor quality and provides no guidance.
Collaborating with scientists and policy makers on a global scale to develop a unified approach to manufacturing, testing and regulatory oversight of influenza vaccine development as well as their efficient use and distribution.