With the first day of fall just around the corner, medical professionals are giving a serious warning as this year's flu season arrives: get your flu.
"The flu shot is extremely important because it reduces the risk of contracting the flu," says Michelle Lynn, an emergency physician and professor of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, tells Fox News.
risking complications and passing it on to other people, especially pregnant women, young children and the elderly, "who are more susceptible to the virus, she added.
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How long does it take for a vaccine to take effect?
For about two weeks, Lin said, recommending patients receive the vaccine as soon as possible. During this time, your body develops antibodies to protect you from the virus. Lynn said she and other health care professionals recommend that patients receive the vaccine before the end of October, because the flu season typically peaks in the cold and dry weather between December and February. But getting the vaccine anytime during the season is "better late than never," noted Lynn.
How much flu protects the vaccine against
Flu vaccines usually protect against three or four viruses, the Center says Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"There are many different influenza viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of influenza vaccines in the United States is reviewed annually and updated as necessary to match circulating influenza viruses, "according to the Federal Health Agency.
By looking at meteorological models and using statistics and other data, health professionals develop known which strains will be most contagious in each flu season, Lynn explained.
That said, Mirela Salvatore, an infectious disease specialist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, told The New York Times last year that, even when vaccines did not respond to circulating strains, "they appear to prevent severe disease and studies show that unmatched vaccines can still prevent millions of hospitalizations. “
This year the three-component vaccine protects against:
- A / Brisbane / 02/2018 (H1N1) virus similar to pdm09
- A / Kansas / 14/2017 (H3N2) similar to the virus  Similar to B / Colorado / 06/2017 (Victoria Lineage)
There are also four or four component vaccines available. according to the CDC. In addition to the three es viruses in the three-component vaccines, the four-day vaccines also protect against the B / Phuket / 3073/2013 (Yamagata lineage) virus.
"Last season's vaccine was only 29 percent effective because of a jump in the H3N2 virus late in the season not included in the vaccine, so all versions of this year's vaccine included the H3N2 strain," Lin said. of the 4 viruses) has already been approved for children as young as 6, expanding to the previous 5-year age limit. "
But how do you know which vaccine you get? Most are quadrivalent, said Lynn.
Trivalent three-component vaccines , "which have a higher dose or challenge a stronger immune response may be recommended for people age 65 or older, "she continued." The nasal spray is quadrivalent and approved for those ages 2-49, but not recommended for pregnant or chronic patients. states.
What is a common misconception about the flu vaccine?
While there are many misconceptions about the flu vaccine, "the most common one we hear is that it gives people flu," Lynn said.
While reactions to the flu shot may include low-grade fever or muscle pain, the vaccine cannot cause the flu virus. The shot is either made with a virus that is "killed" or "inactivated" or is made with "only one gene from the flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) to produce an immune response without causing infection", CDC Says:
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How tough will the flu season be this year?
It is difficult to predict. But the flu season in Australia, in particular, can give experts an idea of how severe the flu season in the US can be – as the US tends to swell in Australia both in severity and in strains.
"Although it is too early to say for sure, the influenza season in the Southern Hemisphere, which has just ended and was more severe than usual, can sometimes reflect the upcoming flu season in the Northern Hemisphere, so it is the most better to prepare, "said Lynn.