Flu Vaccine: Overview

By Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Table of Contents


The flu can be very serious and is something that should not be taken lightly. It is important to be aware of the symptoms so that you can take appropriate action.

The flu, also called influenza, is a virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. It is different from a cold, which usually affects only the nose and throat.

The flu can be a serious health concern, especially for the elderly and young children. One of the fatal complications of the flu is pneumonia.

The flu shot is a great way to protect yourself from the flu and lower your chances of getting sick. If you get the flu shot, your body will be able to produce antibodies that will help protect you from getting sick in future years.

The flu is a serious respiratory illness that is highly contagious and can be deadly. Each year, millions of people around the world get sick with the flu, and it is estimated that between 250,000 and 500,000 people die from the flu each year.

The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated against it.

The Benefits of Flu Vaccination

Influenza is a serious disease that can affect both adults and children alike whenever there is a viral outbreak.

Although most people recover from flu unscathed, there have been deaths due to this disease worldwide in recent years due to increased cases of avian flu among humans, which can be life-threatening for those aged 60 or younger with compromised immune systems.

Many people avoid getting the flu, not just because of the health risks, but also because they are uninterested in taking the time to protect themselves.

They believe that the flu is not as bad as it is, or that it is not worth their time to get vaccinated. This is a mistake. The flu can be very dangerous and even deadly in severe cases.

Symptoms of the flu can be very serious and may include fever, headache, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, and vomiting.

When the flu virus reaches the lungs, it can cause pneumonia. As lung viral pneumonia cannot be cured with antibiotics, the patient will suffer from increased chest pain, cough, fever, and phlegm for more than 10 days.

Every year, there are about 3 to 5 million cases of the flu worldwide. Flu pneumonia can be deadly in severe cases.

It can be spread through sneezing, coughing, touching contaminated surfaces, and handshaking. Getting vaccinated against the flu is the best way to protect yourself from it.

The flu shot is a vaccine that protects you against the flu. It’s recommended that everyone over 6 months old Submit flu shot. The shot contains a killed virus, which means it will not cause flu symptoms and can’t spread to others.

The flu vaccine is your best option to prevent the flu. The flu vaccine is needed every year because the flu virus mutates rapidly. The vaccine protects against the three most common flu viruses.

When is the Flu Season?

The flu season typically runs from October to May, with the peak of activity usually occurring in February.

In this time period, there is cumulative data that shows a total of around 4000 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu, of which only 26% were people aged 65 and older.

Furthermore, data for the young adult group has been doubled.

This increase in cases among adults may be partially due to better surveillance for this age group and to changes in the virus’s genetics.

Prepare for Your Flu Shot

You can plan your flu shot before entering the flu season. There are many places where you can get the vaccine.

  • Flu clinic
  • General physician’s clinic
  • Campaign for Health Care Collaboration
  • Pharmacies

Flu Vaccine Ingredients

The flu vaccine is needed every year because the flu virus mutates rapidly. The newest influenza viral vaccine protects against the three most common flu viruses, and it is a trivalent flu vaccine.

Two Influenza A viruses

  • H1N1 influenza virus
  • H3N2 influenza virus

One influenza B virus

There is a quadrivalent vaccine as well that provides a wider cover against influenza (US-based). It covers two influenza B types in addition to the influenza A types.

The flu vaccine is made up of three main ingredients: an inactivated form of the flu virus, an adjuvant, and a preservative.

The flu vaccine can be made up of three different adjuvants.

  • From viral proteins
  • Egg-based proteins
  • Synthetic viral proteins

Egg-based Flu Vaccines

This vaccine is made up of chicken eggs and harvests live vaccines from the liquid of the egg. This is the most common method of production of flu vaccines. Two types of vaccines are made in this way.

  • Killed Flu vaccine (inactive form): Injection form
  • Live attenuated form (Weekend viruses): nasal spray form

Cell-based Vaccines

The killed viral cells or particles are used instead of egg-based extraction. This is an inactive form of the virus.

Flu Vaccines-Recombinant

These flu vaccines are made from synthetically prepared viral proteins.

It doesn’t have a live form or egg-based growth. It has inactive particles of the virus.

Importance of Flu Vaccine

Flu vaccines is not just for preventing the flu. They can also work as a treatment for the flu.

The main goal of a flu vaccine is to provide protection against the influenza virus. It does this by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies that will fight off future influenza virus infections.

This means that if you get vaccinated, your body will know how to fight the flu once infected and act quickly to fight the virus or even prevent getting the flu inside your body.

The flu vaccine itself cannot cause the disease in the patient as it is an inactive form.

How long will it Take for a Flu Vaccine to Take Effect?

The flu shot can take up to two weeks to start taking effect. This is because the virus in your body has to build up and appear on your immune system’s radar before it can be detected by the vaccine.

The flu vaccine has the potential to work in two ways:

The first way is that it can help protect against the virus itself, which is why you need to Submit shot every year.

The second way it can work is by helping your body fight off and prevent the flu. This can take up to two weeks, but it depends on how sick you are when you’re vaccinated.

That’s why it’s important to get your flu shot as soon as possible after being vaccinated.

If you wait too long, your chances of getting sick increase, and your immune system may not be able to fight off the virus.

How quickly your body gets sick with the community-spreading influenza virus after getting a flu shot depends on several factors:

  • Your age
  • The severity of your symptoms (the more severe your symptoms, the faster they’ll go away).
  • The number of times you’ve had the flu (the more times you’ve had it this season, the quicker it will go away)
  • Underlying disease condition (Immune compromise status will retain the virus more)

You should take the flu vaccine as soon as your doctor says it’s OK to do so. If you’re sick with the flu or have symptoms of the flu, you should Submit flu vaccination when your symptoms are gone.

You can also get vaccinated if you’re healthy and want to be protected against the virus.

The best time to Submit flu shot is in October and November when most people are still feeling under the weather and aren’t at risk of getting sick from the vaccine itself.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated once every year because some people who get vaccinated early may still get sick, but that risk is much lower than for those who wait until December or January.

The vaccine has the best effects in the first 6 months. Thus, getting the flu vaccine before the flu season is beneficial. The flu season starts from October to February.

When pregnant women get the flu vaccine in their third trimester, their babies develop natural flu immunity.

Effectiveness of the Flu Shot

The effectiveness of the annual flu vaccine depends on when you get vaccinated. You should get the vaccine as soon as it’s available, which is usually around October or November.

However, if you haven’t received your shot yet, you may still benefit from getting vaccinated as soon as possible.

As soon as you receive your shot, your body begins making antibodies against the flu virus. If you have gotten a shot within two weeks of getting sick with the flu, your immune system has already started making antibodies against that strain of influenza virus.

This means that if you get sick again with a different strain of influenza virus within two weeks of getting vaccinated, those antibodies will help protect your body from attack by the new strain of the virus.

This means the flu vaccine will remain for 6 months and will reduce in quantity in one year. It is therefore necessary to reinject the flu vaccine.

When to Visit a Medical Practitioner

If you’ve had flu symptoms for more than 24 hours and your immunity is still low, it’s time to call your doctor. You may also want to call if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever of more than 100°F
  • Severe muscle aches or pain
  • A sore throat that lasts more than 2 days
  • A cough that produces thick mucus, which doesn’t go away after 5 days or less
  • A recent history of pneumonia, or bronchitis
  • Chest pain worse with breathing
  • Seizures, faintishness, signs of dehydration, and severe muscle weakness

The best way to determine whether or not to seek medical care is to make sure you are feeling better before waiting too long to contact your physician.

Who is at Risk of Getting Severe Pneumonia?

  • Infants and young children
  • Pregnant women
  • Older adults age  65 years
  • Chronic diseases (asthma, COPD, Diabetes mellitus, Herat disease, Cancer, etc.)
  • Immunocompromised individuals (people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer patients, diabetes, organ transplant individuals, etc.).
  • Obese (BMI greater than 40)

Emergency Symptoms of Influenza

If children of less than 5 years and the elderly exhibit the following symptoms, they need urgent medical care.

  • Blue-colored lips or face
  • Fever or cough that improves but returns or worsens
  • Chest pain
  • Dehydration
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Severe lethargy or fatigue
  • Seizures
  • shortness of breath
  • Ribs pull in with every breath.
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

TeleHealthDoc articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Dr. Pallavi Sharma is one of Melbourne’s best, well respected cosmetic doctors and aims to provide longstanding anti-aging benefits for her clients. With over 11 years experience in Performing cosmetic procedures, Dr. Sharma has lectured medical professionals regarding cosmetic treatments and is heavily involved in providing up to date cosmetic treatments to her clients and friends.
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