As winter approaches, flu begins to appear everywhere. There are unlimited benefits from the flu vaccine. In most cases, the vaccination has saved the lives of people. Infants and elderly people suffer from prolonged illness that causes death. Even healthy people need to be vaccinated as they may not be aware of the medical risks they may face. Vaccination prevents the infections from the flu virus and also reduces the risk of complications involved by spreading the disease. Read on to find the answers to some of your questions.
1. You had a flu shot before, but a few days later you were attacked by flu. To avoid the re-occurrence of this, would it be safer to avoid sick people or get vaccinated again this year?
You should remember that flu shot cannot cause an infection. People often complain that they had the infection just after the vaccination. The reality is that it takes almost 10 days for the immunity to set in for a vaccinated person. In this interval, if you happen to visit an infected person, the virus attacks you before the vaccine begins its function. It leads to a misconception in people that the vaccine caused the infection. There are different viral infections that resemble the flu and a flu vaccine is not the solution for such problems.
As the virus, that causes flu, changes from time to time; the vaccines are also upgraded. The immunity starts fading over the time and you need to be vaccinated with the upgraded vaccine to be safe.
2. What happens if the flu mist is inhaled?
Flu mist is not dangerous in healthy people who are not pregnant. The virus present in the flu-mist has nothing to do with the flu and does not cause any respiratory infections. The modifications made to this flu mist allow it to develop in the nose and throat. It does not enter the lungs. You may have a sore throat for few days. There are no complications other than this.
3. How many doses of the vaccine do the children need?
It is essential for the parents of children under 9 years to get them fully vaccinated against flu. The doses of the flu vaccine depend on 2 factors.
1. Has the child been vaccinated against H1N1
2. The time and doses of the seasonal vaccination.
Children less than 9 years, who are vaccinated with a single dose of H1N1 vaccine in previous year, need another dose of vaccine this year. Children who never had a seasonal vaccination but had H1N1 vaccine are recommended to have 2 doses of the seasonal vaccine. Children who also had H1N1 vaccine earlier but did not have seasonal vaccination are advised to have two doses of the seasonal vaccination this year. In cases where 2 doses of the vaccine are required, an interval of four weeks is a must between the doses. Experts say that these two doses are compulsory for the child to be protected.
4. What are the risks involved in a pregnant woman getting a flu shot?
Flu shot is just a protein being injected into the body. A pregnant woman need not fear of being vaccinated. Pregnancy makes a woman more prone to diseases if she is not vaccinated. It was reported that flu caused a number deaths in pregnant women last year. Complications become severe in pregnant woman suffering from flu. So far there are no evidences showing harmful effects in a pregnant woman or the fetus from being vaccinated. The benefit of a pregnant woman being vaccinated is that the mother is not the only protected from the vaccine but the new born baby is also protected from flu for over 6 months.
5. Is there any other form of flu vaccine for those who are allergic to eggs?
As the flu vaccine contains some amount of protein, it causes some reactions in people with egg allergy. Such people are injected with flu vaccines under the supervision of an experienced doctor. Sometimes the reactions to the vaccines may not be due to egg allergy. To find out the reason for allergy you need to consult an allergist. The suspected person has to undergo skin tests for the flu vaccine. If the patient shows positive results and there is no much reaction, he is injected with the vaccine in the presence of an allergy specialist. In case the reactions are severe, he is advised to take other flu medications within 24 hours on the appearance of the symptoms.