by Dr. Tina Ardon and Dr. Stephen McMullan, Mayo Clinic Information Community, Mayo Clinic Information Community
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I’m 28 and contemplate myself pretty wholesome. I’ve by no means gotten a flu shot and have by no means had the flu. I did obtain a COVID-19 vaccine sequence. Do I actually need a flu vaccination? My employer is recommending an influenza immunization for everybody, however I’m hesitant. I’ve heard some individuals get sick from flu pictures.
ANSWER: The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention now recommends that everybody 6 months and older be vaccinated yearly towards influenza, or flu. Being younger and wholesome doesn’t shield you towards getting the flu. Even somebody such as you, who has not had influenza prior to now, ought to nonetheless get an annual flu shot. In some circumstances, individuals could develop minor flu-like signs after receiving the vaccine; nevertheless, it is very important know the flu vaccine can not provide the flu.
Influenza is a viral respiratory an infection that tends to return on immediately. The influenza virus is a systemic virus. Which means it circulates all through the physique within the bloodstream. Signs usually embrace fever, aching muscular tissues, chills, sweats, headache, feeling drained and weak, coughing, and nasal congestion.
Influenza could cause problems, reminiscent of sinus and ear infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. These problems, significantly pneumonia, could be particularly harmful in younger youngsters; pregnant ladies; older adults; and individuals who have power medical situations, reminiscent of bronchial asthma, epilepsy, kidney illness or liver illness, amongst others. Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best solution to forestall influenza and its problems.
It is very important notice, nevertheless, that regardless that younger youngsters and older adults are most susceptible to problems from the flu, probably the most extreme types of flu that we’ve got seen haven’t affected these teams probably the most. As a substitute, probably the most infectious and critical strains of influenza—such because the pressure that induced the 1918 worldwide pandemic—have extra typically affected younger, wholesome adults. Most circumstances of loss of life related to extreme flu strains have been in youthful adults who have been in any other case wholesome.
To finest shield your self from the flu, you’ll want to get a flu shot yearly. That is as a result of the vaccines change every year to maintain up with quickly adapting influenza viruses. As a result of flu viruses evolve rapidly, final 12 months’s vaccine could not shield you from this 12 months’s viruses.
After you get a flu vaccination, your immune system produces antibodies that may shield you from the flu viruses. As with all immunization, it could take about two weeks to construct immunity after getting vaccinated. After some time, antibody ranges for vaccines will begin to decline—one other good motive to get a booster yearly.
Usually, it’s a good suggestion to get a flu shot within the fall, often in late September or early October. However in the event you miss that timing, it is by no means too late to get a flu shot, as it’ll nonetheless shield you if you end up vaccinated. Though the height flu season is often throughout the winter, as we’ve got seen in years previous—and particularly with COVID-19—viruses can flow into at any time.
After getting a flu shot, just a few individuals could develop flu-like signs, often a low-grade fever that lasts a few day. In lots of circumstances, this occurs as a result of these individuals have been beforehand uncovered to a virus that was just like the vaccine pressure, and their immune system is already ready to reply to it. The fever is an indication of their immune system response, not a symptom of influenza an infection.
It’s significantly vital for ladies who’re pregnant to get a flu shot so as to shield their unborn youngster. I might counsel that when you have questions or issues in regards to the flu vaccine, speak together with your main well being care clinician.
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Q and A: Flu pictures are vital for younger individuals, too (2023, January 3)
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