Munson Health
 
Influenza Vaccine

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by McCoy K

(Flu Vaccine)

 

What Is Influenza?

Influenza (also called the flu) is an upper respiratory infection. It is caused by the influenza virus. Flu strains differ from one year to the next. There are two main kinds that infect humans:
  • Type A
  • Type B
You can get the flu when you breathe in droplets from someone infected with the virus. It can also be spread by touching a contaminated surface and then putting your hand to your mouth or nose.
Each year (usually beginning in October), the flu spreads around the world. Anyone can get it. Some people are at a higher risk of complications. People at higher risk of complications include:
  • Age younger than 5 years old or age 65 years and older
  • Having certain conditions, including:
    • Chronic lung condition, such as asthma
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Kidney or liver disease
    • Neurological, blood, or metabolic condition, such as diabetes
  • Having a suppressed immune system, such as HIV
  • Being pregnant
  • Being a child or teen who receives long-term aspirin therapy
  • Being American Indian/Alaska Native
  • Being severely obese
Influenza may cause:
  • Fever and chills
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Severe fatigue
  • Headache
  • Decreased appetite, other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting
  • Runny nose, nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
Treatment may include:
  • Rest
  • Fluids
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Decongestants
  • Cough suppressants
  • Antiviral medications
 

Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?

Certain people should talk to their doctor before receiving the influenza vaccine. These include people who:
The following people should not get the nasal spray:
  • Children who:
    • Are aged 24 months or younger
    • Have asthma
    • Are aged 2-4 years who have had wheezing in the past 12 months
    • Have a condition that may increase their risk of flu complications
  • People who:
    • Are aged 50 years and older
    • Have a chronic condition, such as heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney or liver disease, metabolic disease, blood disorders
    • Have a nerve or muscle disorder
    • Have a weakened immune system
    • Are in close contact with others who have a weakened immune system
    • Have a nasal condition which makes it difficult to breath
    • Have gotten any other vaccines in the last 4 weeks
  • Pregnant women
  • Children or teens on long-term aspirin therapy
 


WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Flu—United States Department of Health and Human Services
http://www.flu.gov

Vaccines & Immunizations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

Vaccines, Blood & Biologics
United States Food and Drug Administration
http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccines.htm

 

References


Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62(18):356.


Fluzone high-dose seasonal influenza vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/qa%5Ffluzone.htm. Updated July 31, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.


Influenza in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 16, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.


Influenza in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 23, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.


Influenza vaccine in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 16, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.


Influenza vaccine in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 6, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.


Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. Updated March 6, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.


People at high risk of developing flu-related complications. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high%5Frisk.htm. Updated November 7, 2013. Accessed August 12, 2014.


10/15/2007 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Nichol KL, Nordin JD, Nelson DB, Mullooly JP, Hak E. Effectiveness of influenza vaccine in the community-dwelling elderly. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:1373-1381.


3/5/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: FDA approves first quadrivalent vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm294057.htm. Published Updated March 15, 2012. Accessed August 12, 2014.


2/11/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Bridges C, Coyne-Beasley T. Advistory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedules for adults aged 19 years or older: United States, 2014. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(3):190-197.

 

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