Every year, influenza epidemics seriously affect all population and demographics, but the highest risk of complications are children younger than age 2 years, the elderly adults who are 65 years or older, mothers-to-be and people suffering from certain medical conditions.
Influenza vaccine, commonly called as flu shot, must be given yearly for it is used to protect people from variable influenza virus. Two ways of administering vaccines may be through an injection or as a nasal spray.
Flu shots have antigens constituting:
- Influenza virus strains of 4 quadrivalent vaccines or 3 trivalent vaccines;
- Type A subtype H1N1 one influenza virus strain and type A subtype H3N2 one influenza virus strain.
- One B virus strains or two influenza strains.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who monitors the health and well—being of the populace is strongly recommending that flu shots must be now administered in time for the coming season. This seasonal influenza vaccine is an important move to avoid the risk of the flu for everyone over the ages of 6 months. They gave conducted vaccination campaigns to focus on people who are at high risk of serious complications if ever they catch the flu. Considered high risks are: the seniors; sufferers of chronic illness; those with weakened immune systems; including health care workers who are working around those with flu. Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza illness and its accompanying complications.
Flu vaccines protection
According to the result of the research, flu vaccine for this season is a protection against influenza viruses most common during the upcoming season. Flu vaccines traditionally called “trivalent” vaccines are protection against three flu viruses: (1) H1N1 influenza A virus; (2) H3N2 influenza A virus; and (3) virus for influenza B. This season, there is more flu vaccine for protection to fight against four more flu viruses called “quadrivalent” vaccines. These are the same as trivalent vaccine but has an additional B virus.
How far is the effectiveness of the vaccines?
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention reported that the flu vaccine reduces the odds of getting the flu by 70% to 90%. The effectiveness of the vaccine is variable based on how it is being vaccinated. Two factors that play important roles in determining the likelihood that flu vaccine will reduce the risk of a person from flu illness are: 1) characteristics of the person being vaccinated as age and health; and 2) the “match” between the flu viruses with the flu vaccine that is designed to protect against and the flu viruses from spreading in the community. The advantage of using the vaccination will be different bases on (1) population; (2) characteristics of the person being vaccinated; and (3) which vaccine was used.
In general, the flu vaccine works best among healthy adults and older children. Most elderly and sufferers of certain chronic disorders have poorer immunity compared with healthy adults and children following vaccination. However, even for these people, the flu vaccine still may provide some protection.
In the past, flu vaccine was only available between October and the end of November, but due to their importance, you can now get it during December until January; although the flu season often does reach its peak until February or later. But the sooner you get it, the better.
Vaccines are essential to your health and well-being and it is good news that more and more new vaccines are introduced every year. If you are concerned about your health, as well as your loved ones, drop by Costco or CVS. In addition to filling your prescriptions, Costco Pharmacies have a flu shot program that will come in handy for you and your family.