Fall Vaccine: What You Need to Know
Why Get Vaccinated?
Influenza is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years and older, pregnant people and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk of flu complications.
Are Flu Vaccines Safe?
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.
A flu vaccine is the first and best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu and spreading it to others.
Can I Get The Flu From The Flu Vaccine?
No, the flu vaccine cannot cause flu. The vaccines either contain inactivated virus, meaning the viruses are no longer infectious, or a particle designed to look like a flu virus to your immune system.
Who Should Get An Influenza Vaccine?
CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits as well as prevent serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization and even death. A flu vaccine is the best way to help prevent flu and its potentially serious complications. Remember the flu vaccine not only protects you, but it also can help protect those around you.
It takes about 2 weeks for protection to develop after vaccination.
There are many flu viruses, and they are always changing. Each year a new flu vaccine is made to protect against the influenza viruses believed to be likely to cause disease in the upcoming flu season. Even when the vaccine does not exactly match these viruses, it still provides protection.
A quadrivalent standard dose influenza (flu) vaccine is designed to protect against four different flu viruses, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.
Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine is approved only for people 65 years and older. It contains four times the antigen, the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses, than Fluzone Quadrivalent and other standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines. The higher dose of antigen in the vaccine is intended to give people 65 years and older a better immune response to vaccination, and therefore, better protection against flu.
Are there side effects from the flu vaccine?
Some people experience soreness, redness, and swelling where the shot is given, fever, muscle aches and headache can happen after the influenza vaccination.
What are the symptoms of Influenza (Flu) ?
Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms- fever and chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and runny or stuffy nose. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children and adults.
How does the Flu spread?
Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or nose of people nearby ( usually within about 6 feet away)or possibly inhaled into the lungs. Less often a person can also get the flu by touching a surface or an object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes or nose.
When are people with Flu contagious?
Flu viruses can be detected in most infected persons beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. People with flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins. However, infants and people with weakened immune systems who are infected with flu viruses may be contagious for longer than seven days.
Symptoms typically begin about two days (but can range from one to four days) after flu viruses infect a person’s respiratory tract. It is theoretically possible that before symptoms begin, an infected person can spread flu viruses to their close contacts. Some people can be infected with flu viruses and have no symptoms but may still be able to spread the virus to their close contacts.
What should I do If I get sick?
Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a higher-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).
What are emergency warning signs of flu?
People experiencing any of these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.
How long should I stay home if I’m sick?
CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. Until then, you should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild or severe illness in people of all ages. However, some people are at an increased risk. Being a certain age or having certain medical conditions can increase a person’s risk for pneumococcal disease.
Besides pneumonia, pneumococcal bacteria can also cause- ear infections, sinus infections, meningitis, and bacteremia.
How does Pneumococcal Disease spread?
People spread pneumococcal bacteria to others through direct contact with respiratory secretions, like saliva or mucus.
CDC recommends safe and effective pneumococcal vaccines for children and adults.
All children younger than 5 years old and children 5 through 18 years with certain medical conditions that increase their risk for pneumococcal disease should receive a pneumococcal vaccination.
Adults 65 years or older and adults 19 through 64 years old and have certain medical conditions or other risk factors should receive a pneumococcal vaccination.
What are the symptoms of Pneumococcal Disease?
Pneumococcal disease can include many different types of infections. Symptoms depend on the part of the body this is infected. Symptoms can consist of headache, stiff neck, fever or child, confusion, difficulty breathing, ear pain, cough, chest pain or sore throat.
Early diagnosis and treatment are very important for serious pneumococcal infections. Antibiotics can help treat severe illnesses caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
Vaccines are the best way to prevent pneumococcal disease. It is also important to get an influenza vaccine every year because having the flu increases the likelihood of getting pneumococcal disease.
SHINGLES (Herpes Zoster)
Shingles is caused by varicella zoster virus , the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in the body. This virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles.
About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as herpes zoster, in their lifetime. An estimated 1 million people get shingles each year in this country. If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you can get shingles. Even children can get shingles. Your risk of shingles increases as you get older.
Adults 50 years and older should get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. Adults 19 years and older who have or will have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix. If needed, people with weakened immune systems can get the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first.
Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication from shingles. Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. In adults 50 years and older who have healthy immune systems, Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN.
Shingrix is available in doctor’s offices and pharmacies.
If you have questions about Shingrix, talk with your healthcare provider.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Covid-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land in their eyes, nose or mouth.
What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
People with Covid-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported- ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
Possible symptoms include- Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell.
If you experience any of these symptoms, get tested for Covid-19
There are many ways your actions can help protect you, your household and our community from severe illness from Covid-19. Covid-19 vaccines help your body develop protection from the virus that causes covid -19. Although vaccinated people sometimes get infected with the virus that causes Covid-19, staying up to date on Covid-19 vaccines significantly lowers the risk of getting very sick, being hospitalized, or dying from Covid-19.
Everyone 6 months of age and older is eligible to get a covid-19 vaccination. Everyone ages 5 and older are eligible for a booster shot.
THIS WEEK the FDA AUTHORIZED THE UPDATED MODERNA AND PFIZER BIVALENT COVID-19 VACCINES FOR USE AS A BOOSTER DOSE IN YOUNGER AGE GROUPS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent to authorize their use as a single booster dose in younger age groups.
● The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent is authorized for administration at least two months following completion of primary or booster vaccination in children down to six years of age.
● Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent is authorized for administration at least two months following completion of primary or booster vaccination in children down to five years of age.
Both the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine continue to be authorized for primary series administration in individuals six months of age and older.
Covid-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill As with other vaccine- preventable diseases, you are protected best from covid-19 when you stay up to date with recommended vaccinations, including boosters.
Updated Bivalent Boosters
The updated bivalent boosters are called bivalent because they protect against both the original virus that causes Covid-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. The virus that causes Covid-19 has changed over time. The different versions of the virus that have developed over time are called variants. Two Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed updated bivalent Covid-19 boosters.
When are you up to date with Covid-19 vaccines?
You are up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines if you have completed a Covid-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster recommended for you by the CDC.