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How Flu Vaccines Work

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  • Written By: Campbell County Health
How Flu Vaccines Work

Understanding the Flu Vaccine

With flu season in full swing, it is important to protect yourself and the people around you by getting vaccinated for the seasonal influenza virus. While getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of the flu, you may find yourself wondering how they help to boost your immunity.

What is the Flu Shot?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the influenza (flu) vaccine is a vaccine for the seasonal influenza virus. This vaccination helps to protect you against the top strains of the virus that research suggests to be the most prevalent during the upcoming flu season.

Types of Flu Vaccines

Flu Shot

The flu shot is a vaccination that is administered by needle, which is typically given in the upper arm. There are two different types of flu shots available:

Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine

The nasal spray influenza vaccine is a form of the flu vaccine that is administered as an intranasal mist. All nasal spray flu vaccines are quadrivalent. Although this form of vaccination is appropriate for most people over the age of 2, there are certain individuals who should not receive this form of vaccination:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children under the age of 2
  • Adults over 50
  • People who are allergic to ingredients in the vaccine
  • Children between 2 and 17 who are on medications that contain aspirin or salicylate
  • Children between 2 and 4 who have asthma
  • People with a weakened immune system
  • People without a spleen, or with a non-functioning spleen
  • People with cochlear implants
  • People who are currently on antifungal drugs

Flu Vaccination by Jet Injector

A jet injector is a medical device used to administer vaccinations, using a high-pressure stream of fluid to penetrate the skin rather than a needle. When it comes to the influenza vaccine, AFLURIA Quadrivalent®, is approved for use with a jet injector. This form of flu vaccination is approved for people from 18 to 64.

How Often Should You Get Vaccinated

It is recommended that you get your flu shot once a year. It is also advised to get your vaccination before the flu begins to spread in your community. This is because the flu vaccine takes about two weeks before your body develops the appropriate antibodies that help ward off the virus.

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