- Influenza, more commonly known to us as ‘the flu’, is so routine a condition that we rarely even stop to think if it might be a real disease. However, just like many others, it is a contagious infection caused by a virus that affects the respiratory system. It spreads from person to person and produces a mild illness in most cases. Most of the times influenza resolves on its own, but in rare, complicated situations, it can actually be serious. Children below five years of age, pregnant women, persons with chronic illnesses, and the elderly are at a higher risk of experiencing a more severe version. However, vaccines are available today to prevent a flu infection altogether. In fact, between 2016-2017, flu vaccines prevented nearly 5.3 million influenza cases globally, proving vaccines to be the best method of prevention.
Facts of the flu
- You can prevent an infection from the influenza virus by a simple shot of the influenza vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu vaccination to be taken annually by everyone above six months of age. There are different types of influenza viruses such as the influenza A, B, C, and D viruses. The flu vaccine for every season varies depending upon the type of flu virus prevalent during that season. This is because the virus tends to mutate and change a bit each season. Thus, a new vaccine is released each year for influenza. The vaccines are available for influenza types A and B. Influenza C is a very mild infection, whereas influenza D mainly affects cattle and is not known to cause the flu in humans.
Vaccine: a single step to prevent the flu
The following flu vaccines can help your body fight against the virus:
- The traditional flu vaccines, also called trivalent vaccines, protect the individuals from three strains of the flu virus, the influenza A virus – H3N2, influenza A virus – H1N1, and influenza B virus. A standard dose of inactivated influenza trivalent flu shot, which is made by using a virus grown in eggs is given to individuals in the following ways:
- Persons aged five and above are given the shot through a needle.
- Adults between 18 to 64 years of age are given the shot through a jet injector.
- As adults of 65 years or older are more susceptible to serious cases of the flu, the following variants of the trivalent vaccine flu shots that create a stronger immune response are given to such individuals:
- A trivalent flu shot with an additive.
- A high-dose trivalent flu shot.
- Quadrivalent vaccines are vaccines that protect against four influenza viruses. These include the three viruses present in the trivalent vaccine with an added strain of the influenza B virus. The various types of quadrivalent vaccines available for influenza are:
- Quadrivalent flu shots of a standard dose for various age groups. Some of these flu shots are also approved for children as young as six months. The flu shot can be given in the following manner:
- Using a needle for children aged five years and above
- Using a jet injector for adults aged 18 to 64 years
- This type of quadrivalent flu shot is approved and available for individuals aged four years and older.
- This type of quadrivalent flu shot is approved and available for individuals who are 18 years and above.
- Now that you know the facts and importance of flu vaccinations, you can consult an experienced doctor at HealthAssure and move a step further in protecting yourself from the flu. You can visit our website and contact our experts to get vaccinated. We provide excellent facility through our primary healthcare centres to help you fight against the flu. Say hello to vaccine and goodbye to the flu!
You can get vaccination easily via HealthAssure and gain peace of mind.
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