Have you taken steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu this season? If you haven’t then it’s time to go for a flu shot. This is the first and foremost step towards preventing flu.
Flu is a dangerous and infectious illness that infects millions of Americans every year. It results in poor health alongside huge medical expenses. Not only these but it also causes loss of many schools and work hours. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself from flu this season. Go and get the 2017-2018 flu vaccine. Here are five things you need to know about this CDC recommended flu shot:
It is an injectable vaccine
CDC recommends the use of the injectable flu vaccine for the 2017-2018 flu seasons. It discourages the use of the nasal spray vaccine. This is owing to concerns over the spray’s effectiveness.
The injectable flu shot comes in two forms. The first is the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV). The second one, on the other hand, is recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). Both vaccines are quadrivalent. They are administered through muscular injections.
it’s been made to match this season’s flu viruses
The new flu shot has been made with this season’s flu viruses in mind. CDC projected three influenza virus strains for the 2017-2018 seasons. These include H1N1, H3N2, and an influenza B virus. Your flu vaccine injection will help protect you against all these.
In order to ensure uniformity and efficacy of the flu shot, CDC and its public health partners came up with a standard candidate vaccine. In the medical context, a candidate vaccine refers to a single virus or bacterium type from which a vaccine is to be prepared. It forms the basic ingredient for the mass manufacture of the vaccine.
CDC chose a cell-based candidate virus vaccine for this season’s vaccine. This allows for genetic sequencing thus offering protection from a wider range of flu viruses.
it’s available in different doses
The 2017-2018 flu shot comes in a number of doses. There’s first of all the standard dosage which is given to normal persons and is administered intramuscularly. Additionally, there are high intradermal doses and also doses with an adjuvant.
The high dose flu injection is recommended for older people. Persons aged 65 and above should ideally go for it the vaccine helps boost their immunity against flu. It contains higher amounts of influenza antigens than standard vaccines. This helps one’s body develop more numerous and more effective flu antibodies.
The sooner you go for the vaccine, the better
Even though the new flu vaccine is meant to offer you protection against flu, it won’t be able to do so effectively if you don’t get it soon enough. CDC recommends that you get your flu shot before the end of November. This is so that you can be safe from the peak December flu outbreaks. Flu is most common in the US during winter and fall.
Vaccines need some bit of time in order to start being effective. In the case of the flu vaccine, you will require at least two weeks for your body to start forming antibodies. Your body’s immune system detects antigens in the vaccine and thereby forms antibodies against them.
Your friends and family should get a shot as well
When getting your flu shot for the 2017-2018 season, don’t forget to remind your loved ones to also go get theirs. The fight against flu is one that can only be won collectively. The more the number of persons that are vaccinated against it, the less likely the chance that flu outbreaks will occur.
Mass vaccination offers what is known as herd immunity. This means that nearly the entire population or community is protected against a particular disease. In the case of flu, the disease usually spreads from person to person mainly through the air. You can get it by inhaling air contaminated by droplets from an infected person’s sneeze and so on. Herd immunity will, however, lessen your chances of being infected.
Remember to get your flu vaccine early enough.