Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are used to make the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Two of the trivalent vaccines are designed specifically for people 65 and older to create a stronger immune response. CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine during the influenza season, including inactivated influenza vaccine [IIV], recombinant influenza vaccine [RIV], or live attenuated influenza vaccine LAIV. No preference is expressed for any influenza vaccine over another. Both trivalent three-ingredient and quadrivalent four-ingredient influenza vaccines will be available. Different influenza shots are licensed for different age groups. Some are licensed for children as young as 6 months of age. Most influenza shots are given in an arm muscle with a needle. One quadrivalent influenza shot Afluria Quadrivalent can be given either with a needle for people aged 6 months and older or with a jet injector for people aged 18 through 64 years only. This season, all four of the vaccine viruses used in Flucelvax have been grown in cells, making the vaccine totally egg-free. A quadrivalent flu shot using an adjuvant an ingredient that helps create a stronger immune response , approved for people 65 years of age and older. There are many flu vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional. Influenza Vaccine Products for the Season. Different influenza flu vaccines are approved for use in different age groups. In addition, some vaccines are not recommended for certain groups of people. You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early for example, in July or August is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. Vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccine increases your risk of getting sick from a coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID You may have heard about a study external icon published in January that reported an association between flu vaccination and risk of four commonly circulating seasonal coronaviruses, but not the one that causes COVID This report was later found to be incorrect. The results from that initial study led researchers in Canada to look at their data to see if they could find similar results in their population. The Canadian findings highlighted the protective benefits of flu vaccination. The Canadian researchers also identified a flaw in the methods of the first study, noting that it violated the part of study design that compares vaccination rates among patients with and without flu test negative design. This flaw led to the incorrect association between flu vaccination and seasonal coronavirus risk.
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