The influenza virus causes flu in communities in certain seasons. And it’s becoming worse nowadays due to the pandemic happening worldwide.
Flu can cause mild to severe symptoms. It can even lead to life-threatening complications. In fact, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and deaths each year are due to flu. It is especially dangerous to people who are at most risk such as:
- Children younger than 5 years
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- People older than 65 years
- People with chronic medical conditions
- People with an increased risk of exposure to influenza
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get a flu vaccine. Unfortunately, there are still people who are questioning the effectiveness of the vaccine. Asking questions such as “how does the flu vaccine work?” or “how long does flu vaccine last?”
Does the flu vaccine work?
Most cases of the flu resolve on their own. But if complications like pneumonia arise alongside it, flu can be life-threatening. How do you ask?
While flu is not always the primary cause of death, it can still cause fatal complications. These include severe inflammation of the lungs, which can cause acute respiratory failure. Flu can worsen chronic medical conditions like heart disease and asthma.
Flu can also progress into pneumonia, which can become life-threatening. It can cause inflammation of the brain, heart, or muscles as well. That’s why you need a flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Does the flu vaccine work? Yes, it does. In fact, there are studies showing that flu vaccines can lessen the risk of flu illness. It can reduce the risk by between 40% and 60% among the population. Moreover, it can protect you against more serious outcomes like hospitalization. It can even prevent you from dying due to complications.
The flu vaccine will start working two weeks after you receive the shot. The effectiveness of the vaccine actually depends on three factors. These are:
- Age. The flu shot is less effective on people ages 65 years and older.
- Virus Mutation. The influenza virus could change. As such, it’s possible that the flu shot will not be that effective as it no longer matches the virus.
- Vaccine Schedule. With more time passes, more flu antibodies will degrade.
How long does the flu vaccine last?
Health experts recommend everyone aged 6 months or older get themselves vaccinated. Although there are certain groups of people who shouldn’t get it. These are:
- Children ages less than 6 months old
- Those with egg or mercury allergies
- Those who have had a severe reaction to any of the ingredients of the flu vaccine
- Those with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
Wondering how long does the flu vaccine last? The flu vaccine can protect you against the flu for at least six months. That’s why you should get a flu shot every year. Flu vaccinations are usually done in October when flu activity begins to increase. This makes your immunity last until the following April.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t get your flu vaccine before or after October. In fact, you can get a flu shot at any time of the year. Regardless, it is better to get the shot as early as September or as late as January.
Keep in mind that if you’re aged 65 years and over, then the flu vaccine may wear off earlier than usual. This is due to the weakened immune response among older people. As for the children, the effectiveness of flu shots is not reduced.
Health professionals recommend adults, age 65 years and older, get vaccinated early. For children, they can get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available.
There are some children who need two doses of flu shots. For these kids, they should get their first dose as soon as the vaccine is available. Their second dose should be at least four weeks after the first dose.
For women in their third trimester of pregnancy, they should get early vaccination. This can help protect their infants during the first months of life.
Side effects of the flu vaccine
The flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent yourself from becoming sick with the flu. Although you may experience some side effects. The good thing is, these will usually go away in a day or so. These side effects include:
- Low-grade fever
- Chills or headache
- Swollen, red, tender area around the injection site
- Minor muscle aches
Yes, it’s still possible for you to get the flu after you receive the shot. But your symptoms will be milder.
Flu Vaccine Facts
Are you still in doubt about whether you should get a flu shot? These flu vaccine facts might help relieve your worries:
- Flu vaccines are available every year.
- The flu vaccine contains an inactivated form of the influenza virus.
- Flu vaccines cannot give you the flu.
- Flu shots cause an immune response, not a flu infection.
- Flu shots can keep you from getting sick with the flu.
- Flu shots reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
- Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated hospitalization.
- Flu shots can reduce the risk of a flu-related worsening of chronic lung disease.
- Flu vaccination helps protect pregnant women during and after pregnancy.
- Getting vaccinated can protect people around you.
Learning about the flu vaccine can aid you in understanding how it can affect your health. If you want to stop the spread of the influenza virus, WellHealthWorks can help you with that. We offer flu shots and Covid-19 employee testing. We also provide wellness screening, helping you identify early certain preventable diseases. For more of what services we can offer, you can call us at 833-935-9355. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.