Should you get the flu shot this year? Doctors reveal their decision

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With influenza cases already reported in September 2022, many health officials are recommending anyone six months or older to get the flu shot in September and October this year to prepare for the next flu season.

“It’s a perfect time for [people] to get the shot right now, ”said Dr. Aaron Glatt, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine and chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau in New York.

He is also a hospital epidemiologist.

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Michael Kinch, Ph.D., immunologist and vaccine expert, as well as dean of science and vice president of Long Island University in New York, told Fox News Digital: “Although the flu virus can cause serious illness in all people – Regardless of health or age, elderly and immunosuppressed people are particularly susceptible. ”

“It is important that those individuals aged six months and over who have not had a previous severe allergic reaction get vaccinated every year.”

He added: “In an average year, 60,000 Americans die from the flu.”

Regarding that tremendous loss of life, he added that “most [those losses] it can be prevented with routine vaccination ”.

Yet another expert weighed on the discussion.

A woman is shown after receiving the flu shot.  A doctor Fox News Digital spoke to recommends that people get a flu shot ideally before the end of October, before flu cases start to rise.

A woman is shown after receiving the flu shot. A doctor Fox News Digital spoke to recommends that people get a flu shot ideally before the end of October, before flu cases start to rise.
(iStock)

Dr. Fred Davis, the Associate President of Emergency Medicine at Northwell Health in Long Island, New York, told Fox News Digital that it sees a number of flu cases present in the emergency room each year. Davis recommends that people get a flu shot ideally before the end of October, before flu cases start to rise.

Davis also said: “It is important that those individuals six months and older who have not had a previous severe allergic reaction get the vaccine every year.”

By getting the flu shot every year, people reduce the chances of serious complications from the flu virus.

Each year the flu vaccine is formulated to protect against the four most likely flu viruses that are expected to be the most prevalent that year, Davis noted.

By getting the flu shot every year, he said, people reduce the chances of serious complications from the flu virus.

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“Those most at risk are [people older] over the age of 65, those with certain chronic medical conditions (eg asthma, heart disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease) and those who are pregnant, “she said.

“The annual flu shot is especially important in these groups to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from the flu,” Davis told Fox News Digital.

Get the flu shot as soon as possible, health officials say this year, as they have also said in the past.  But there are rare exceptions where the flu shot is not suitable for people.  Check with a healthcare professional first.

Get the flu shot as soon as possible, health officials say this year, as they have also said in the past. But there are rare exceptions where the flu shot is not suitable for people. Check with a healthcare professional first.
(iStock)

While federal health officials recommend that most people six months of age or older get a flu shot every season, in rare exceptions it is not appropriate.

Some vaccines may not be suitable for certain individuals, health officials have also said.

“Different flu vaccines are approved for different age groups,” notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on its website.

There are standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines that are approved for those as young as six months of age, the CDC noted; however, some vaccines are only approved for adults.

“Some people (for example, people who are pregnant and people with some chronic health conditions) shouldn’t get some types of flu shots, and some people shouldn’t get flu shots at all (although this is rare).”

The CDC also said that several flu vaccines are approved for people of different ages and that everyone should get an age-appropriate vaccine.

There are standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines that are approved for people as young as six months of age, the agency noted; however, some vaccines are only approved for adults.

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These include the recombinant influenza vaccine approved for people aged 18 and over and adjuvant and inactivated high-dose vaccines approved for people aged 65 and over.

Three flu shots this year

As of the 2022-2023 flu season, the CDC said there are three flu vaccines recommended for people aged 65 and over.

These vaccines are the Fluzone high-dose quadrivalent vaccine, the quadrivalent Flublok recombinant influenza vaccine, and the quadrivalent Fluad adjuvanted influenza vaccine.

Davis told Fox News Digital that it is recommended that people aged 65 and over receive one of these vaccines because these are higher doses than other vaccines, and higher doses are potentially more effective at fighting the vaccine. influence for this age group.

People should discuss their individual cases with their healthcare professionals to see if the flu shot is right for them.

People should discuss their individual cases with their healthcare professionals to see if the flu shot is right for them.
(iStock)

The CDC points out that pregnant women and people with certain chronic health conditions can get a flu shot as well as those people with an egg allergy.

Health experts, however, have also said it’s important for people to discuss their individual cases with their healthcare professionals to see if the vaccine is right for them.

The CDC also states that there are rare circumstances in which some people should not receive a flu shot.

The ones that should Not getting a flu shot include children under the age of six months and individuals with “severe and life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in a flu shot (other than egg protein).”

The CDC said it’s important to talk to healthcare professionals before getting a flu shot if you’ve ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a severe crippling illness.

The agency said this could include antibiotics, gelatin and other ingredients.

The CDC also said that people who have had a severe allergic reaction to a flu shot in the past may not be able to receive other flu shots.

It is vital to speak to a doctor or healthcare professional to see if vaccination is appropriate.

Healthcare professionals urge citizens to get vaccinated against the flu.

Healthcare professionals urge citizens to get vaccinated against the flu.
(iStock)

The CDC said it’s also important to talk to healthcare professionals before getting a flu shot if you’ve ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a severe crippling disease, as some people with a history of GBS shouldn’t have. the flu vaccine.

Also, if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of any other flu shot, discuss with a doctor whether you should refrain from a new flu shot this time.

“This year will certainly be more difficult than the last two flu seasons, because society is reopening and people are wearing fewer and fewer masks.”

If you’re not feeling well, talk to a doctor about your symptoms first, to see if it’s the appropriate time to get a flu shot or not, the CDC also pointed out.

Nasal spray vs. injection: what to know

When it comes to nasal spray flu vaccine versus injection, health experts told Fox News Digital that it is vital to speak with your doctor to see if this type of vaccine is appropriate, as there are several scenarios where it is contraindicated and in which one shot would be safer.

“The nasal spray is a live, attenuated vaccine, which means it is a weakened but living flu virus,” said Dr. Ken Zweig, MD, general practitioner at the Northern Virginia Family Practice in Arlington, Virginia.

“It won’t cause problems for healthcare patients, but it could potentially cause a flu infection in anyone who is pregnant, immunosuppressed or very young, under the age of two,” she also said.

A baby sits on a cot while receiving a vaccination.

A baby sits on a cot while receiving a vaccination.
(iStock)

Zweig is assistant professor of medicine at both Georgetown University and George Washington University Medical Schools in Washington, DC.

Zweig added: “There are other, less common reasons for not taking the nasal spray, so anyone considering it should consult their doctor first.”

Zweig also told Fox News Digital: “This year is definitely going to be more difficult than the last two flu seasons, as society is reopening and people are wearing fewer and fewer masks.”

“Many people have vaccine fatigue from all COVID shots – and more babies and toddlers have never seen the flu … so they probably don’t have any immunity.”

Zweig hopes that the likelihood of the flu virus spreading will decrease, as COVID is still on people’s minds and many people are exercising caution.

“Most people are even less likely to go to work or see friends when they have cold symptoms, so I think there will be less chance of spreading the flu than before COVID,” he said.

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However, the branch is still concerned.

“Many people have vaccine fatigue from all the COVID shots – and more babies and toddlers have never seen the flu, since the last two seasons have been so mild, so they probably don’t have any immunity. “, he said.

“The best way to ensure a milder flu season is to vaccinate as many people as possible, so make sure you get vaccinated.”

Glatt also told Fox News Digital: “The flu remains a very serious disease that we need to eradicate and the best way to prevent very serious flu diseases is through vaccination.”