Seasonal Influenza, often known as Seasonal Flu, is a warning indication. Symptoms include fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle, and joint stiffness, acute malaise (feeling sick), sore throat, and runny nose. The cough could be severe and last for two weeks or more. Seasonal flu typically peaks in particular months, such as October, while in the Philippines, seasonal flu typically peaks from June to November. Because Seasonal Flu is so frequent, it is recommended that anyone as young as 6 months old get an Influenza (Flu) Vaccine every season to avoid illness and build immunity. Although Seasonal Flu is prevalent in all countries, including the Philippines, it is important to understand the Key Facts about Seasonal Flu Vaccines because it is a global and widespread subject.
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Who should get the Seasonal Flu Vaccines?
Children as young as six months old and older can get vaccinated against the flu. There are a few groups of people who are not eligible for the vaccine, however, including children who have not yet reached the age of six months, people who have a history of having an adverse reaction to certain components of the vaccine, and certain people who are at least 50 years old.
It is important to note that numerous types of Flu Vaccines are available for usage in people of various ages. Furthermore, some vaccines are not recommended for certain groups of people. Age, health (current and past), and any sensitivities to the flu vaccine or its components are all factors that can influence a person’s suitability for immunization.
Precautions are needed before taking the vaccine to consult a healthcare professional first if you have any allergies to certain ingredients and if your medical history might affect your vaccination.
Why should you get the Seasonal Flu Vaccines?
The influenza outbreak that arises each year has the potential to strike people of any age. Your immunity will be strengthened as a result of the vaccinations, and they will also protect you from contracting influenza. Getting vaccinated against the flu is your best defense against being admitted to the hospital. Considering that the number of COVID instances is still on the rise after the end of the pandemic, it is highly recommended that individuals get vaccinated against the flu in order to aid in the diagnosis of the illness and prevent people from worrying too much and overthinking the situation.
When should you take the Seasonal Flu Vaccine?
Since it is recommended that the influenza vaccine be administered prior to the beginning of the peak Seasonal Flu season, everyone who is currently residing in the Philippines should obtain the vaccine prior to the month of June. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals of different ages should receive the immunization at different times during the year.
Around one month before the beginning of the peak season, vaccinations should be administered to adults, with particular emphasis placed on individuals aged 65 and older. Getting vaccinated much too early before the peak season may lessen protection over time; however, it is still permitted to have an early vaccination if an adult cannot be inoculated later on in the season. Yet, the immunization must be administered in two separate doses if it is to be given to children. As a condition of this, it is strongly suggested that they get vaccinated for the first dosage as soon as the vaccine becomes available. This is due to the fact that the second dose will only be administered four weeks following the first dose. When getting vaccinated, keep in mind that it does not function right away; it takes around two weeks for the vaccination to properly work.
Where Should you take the Seasonal Flu Vaccine?
The flu vaccine is offered at many local clinics and doctor’s offices. A flu vaccine can also be purchased via a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, college health centre, and some schools and businesses may provide flu shots. Numerous tiny local clinics in the Philippines, notably in Manila, are housed in condominiums, so if you ever need to take a short walk from your home to a clinic to acquire a flu vaccine or other services, there are numerous condominiums for sale in and around Manila, Philippines.
How effective is the Seasonal Flu Vaccine?
There is no direct answer to the question of how effective the flu vaccines are since viruses will have changes and mutate over time. According to CDC they conduct studies every year to see if the current vaccines can work against the current flu viruses. Although there is no direct answer it is said that the current Flu vaccines’ effectiveness to reduce flu illnesses is between 40-60%, The effectiveness of the flu vaccine may also vary depending on a person’s age, medical history, and health.
Types of Flu Vaccines (According to CDC)
1. Flu Shots
The common type where the vaccines are in the needle and is shot in the arm.
2. Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
Flu vaccine where it is used as a Nasal Spray
3. Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine
Protects against Four types of Flu viruses
4. Flu Vaccination by Jet Injector –
Only approved to be used for 18 to 64 years old
5. High-Dose Flu Vaccine
Has 4 components of antigen and is used as a regular flu shot. This type of vaccine is only licensed to be used for people aged 65 and older.
6. Adjuvanted Vaccine
Only approved to be used by people at the age of 65 and older. This type of vaccine has an added ingredient which is an Adjuvant, this one help create a stronger immune response.
7. Cell-Based Flu Vaccines
Grown in cultured cells of mammalian origin instead of in hens’ eggs. (The majority of inactivated influenza vaccines are made by culturing influenza viruses in eggs. Instead of hens’ eggs, the flu viruses utilized in cell-based vaccinations are generated in mammalian cultured cells.)
8. Recombinant Flu Vaccines
The way it is produced is it uses a method of not requiring an egg grown vaccine virus.
Types of Seasonal Flu Vaccines Available in the Philippines
- Quadrivalent vaccine
- Jet injector
- High-dose vaccine
- Adjuvanted vaccine
- Cell-based vaccine
- Recombinant vaccine
- Intradermal vaccine (Type of vaccine in the Philippines that is directly injected on the skin)
Side effects of the Seasonal Flu Vaccine
It is normal for vaccines to cause side effects; therefore, you should not be concerned about this fact. However, if the adverse reactions are severe or continue for more than two days after vaccination, it is preferable to consult a medical professional as soon as possible. In the event that the vaccine is causing you to experience a significant adverse reaction, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
A. Common side effects
Seek medical attention if these symptoms persist for longer than two days:
- Muscle Aches
B. Rare side effects
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away. Since these symptoms usually do not last long, sitting or resting down may help.
- Vision changes
- Ringing in the ears after getting injected
C. Serious side effects
If any of these occur, notify a healthcare practitioner immediately.
- Mental changes
- Mood changes
D. Allergic Reactions
If you observe any of these symptoms, call a healthcare practitioner right once.
- Severe dizziness
- Itching and swelling (specifically around the face, tongue, and throat)
- Trouble breathing