Some more questions about the flu vaccine
Why do you need to get a flu vaccine every year?
Every year the flu virus is different. New vaccines, therefore, have to be developed in order to keep up with the changes, therefore last year’s vaccine might not be able to protect you from this year’s seasonal flu.
Can I still get the seasonal flu even if I have had the annual flu vaccine?
It is still possible to get the flu if you are vaccinated. Your immunity from the vaccine is dependent on the age and health status of the person being vaccinated. It also depends on how close to vaccine matches the seasonal flu at the time. Your body creates antibodies for the specific strain of the virus that was predicted if you are vaccinated, and the strain you contract is, in fact, different to the suspected flu, you may not be immune to it. The closer the match of the vaccine to the current virus, the higher your immunity.
However, antibodies that are not directly matched to the specific flu strain may still be able to lessen the symptoms of the different flu strain and can sometimes even protect you from it, this is called cross-protection.
Is it safe to get a flu vaccine when pregnant?
It is safe to get the flu vaccine when pregnant and it can be administered during any one of the trimesters of pregnancy. It is recommended to get the vaccine in order to protect the mother and the developing baby from the flu. However, the nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women as it is made from a weakened strain of the virus which can be dangerous for the baby and mother.
Can you get the flu from a flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine contains killed or weakened strains of the flu virus. Therefore, due to the virus being inactive, the shot cannot cause you to get sick, it only enables your body to produce antibodies to defend you against a few specific strains of the flu should you come into contact with them.
How long does the flu vaccine protect you?
Your body’s immunity will decline over time. The antibodies start to wane due to your general health and age. It is suspected that the general time of immunity will last about a year.