Prevention of Flu

The risk of contracting flu can be reduced by practical measures to avoid contagion and by the flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated with the flu is the most effective measure.

Unfortunately, the vaccination does not last as long as some other disease vaccinations because the flu tends to change every year. Annual flu vaccinations are required for protection.

Simple and practical measures can also be somewhat effective in reducing risk of transmission of flu. However, such measures are not very effective if you are in direct contact with infected patients. Examples include:

  • Frequent hand-washing
  • Avoiding close contact with other people
  • Avoiding droplet infection (from cough or sneezing)
  • Gloves
  • Face masks

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Back to: « Flu

Prevention of Flu

Influenza Vaccine

The vaccine that helps prevent the flu is good for 1 year. It's usually given in October or November, before peak flu season.

Because many people get pneumonia after having the flu, this vaccine also helps prevent pneumonia.

For more information about the influenza vaccine, go to the CDC's Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccination Web page.

Source: NHLBI (NIH)1

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  • Get the flu vaccine each year.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has the flu.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)2

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With schools back in session and cooler weather on the way, many of us will be spending more time indoors. It’s a time to make holiday plans. It’s a time for togetherness. And it’s a time when we share a lot of disease-causing germs. Fortunately, you can take simple steps to dodge germs and boost your chances of staying healthy.

By far the easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands often and well. Health care experts recommend scrubbing your hands vigorously with soap and water for at least 15 seconds—about as long as it takes to recite the alphabet.

Antibacterial soaps are popular and plentiful on store shelves. They contain a chemical called triclosan, which can kill bacteria. But are they better than regular soaps? In one recent study, researchers reviewed all the scientific papers published between 1980 and 2006 that compared regular and antibacterial soaps in everyday use. They found that regular soaps were as effective as antibacterial soaps, both in blocking germ-related disease symptoms and in reducing the amount of bacteria measured on hands.

When soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based gel—usually called a “hand sanitizer”—to clean your hands. These alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)3

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Preventing the Spread of Germs

  • Wash your hands often and well. If soap and water are not available, some health officials recommend rubbing your hands with alcohol-based gels.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Keep doctor-recommended vaccinations—for you and your children—up to date.
  • Stay home when you are sick and check with a health care provider when needed.
  • Eat right, get enough sleep and exercise regularly to help strengthen your immune system and fight sicknesses.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)4

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Avoid the Flu

  • Get a yearly flu vaccine if your doctor recommends it. But keep in mind that the vaccines currently available don’t protect you from bird (avian) flu.
  • Stay home when you’re sick and avoid contact with others who appear to be sick.
  • Wash your hands before eating and before touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • If you travel anywhere that bird flu has been found, use caution when handling and cooking poultry, as it may be infected. If you interact with any birds while in these countries, wash your hands and clean the bottom of your shoes or any other items that may have been in contact with birds or bird droppings.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)5

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How to Avoid The Flu:

Get a yearly flu vaccine if your doctor recommends it. It’s the best way to keep from catching the flu viruses that go around each year. Keep in mind, though, that the vaccines currently available to the public won’t yet protect you from bird flu.

Stay home when you’re sick and avoid contact with others who are sick. These simple measures can help stop the spread of influenza and other contagious illnesses.

If you travel to Southeast Asia, use caution when handling and cooking poultry that may be infected with bird flu.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)6

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Take 3 Steps to Fight Flu

The first and best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated every flu season.

  • Everyone 6 months of age and older is recommended to get vaccinated against the flu every year, with rare exceptions.
  • Flu vaccines made to protect against three different flu viruses (called "trivalent" vaccines) are available this season. In addition, flu vaccines made to protect against four different flu viruses (called "quadrivalent" vaccines) also are available. It takes two weeks after vaccination for your body to build up antibodies to protect you from the viruses. With many more weeks of expected for this flu season, there is still time to get vaccinated if you haven't already done so. As long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination can protect you against the flu.
  • Important reminder for parents and caregivers: Many children getting vaccinated against the flu for the first time will need 2 doses of flu vaccine to be protected. If a child has not received his/her first dose, get them vaccinated now. For those who have been vaccinated with one dose and are younger than 9 years, parents should check with the child's doctor or other health care professional to see if a second dose is needed for the best possible protection.
  • CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over the other. The important thing is to get vaccinated every year.
  • CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well the flu vaccine protects against flu illness. While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by about 50% to 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are like the vaccine viruses.

Take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • If possible, try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you do get sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Also, clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs spread this way. Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Source: CDC Features7

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Personal Protection Measures

Measures that may help prevent influenza virus infection and other infections during travel include avoiding close contact with sick people, washing hands often with soap and water (where soap and a safe source of water are not available, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing ?60% alcohol is recommended), and avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth. If you are ill, you can help prevent the spread of illness to others by covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and avoiding close contact with others.

Source: CDC Yellow Book 20168

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You can reduce the risk of infection by getting vaccinated and practising good hand and respiratory hygiene to protect yourself and others:

  • stay home when you are sick
  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • use a tissue, or the inside of your arm, when you cough and sneeze
  • throw tissues away immediately and wash hands
  • don't share items such as cigarettes, cups, lipstick, toys, or anything which has come into contact with the mouth or nose
  • stay at least 1 metre away from people who have flu-like symptoms
  • clean frequently touched surfaces regularly, such as door handles, taps, tables, benches, and fridge doors (flu viruses can be removed using household detergent)

Source: Queensland Health9

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Fighting the Flu

Flu viruses are spread mainly by the droplets made when people with the flu sneeze, cough, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. You might also become infected by touching a surface or object that is contaminated with the flu virus and then touching your own mouth, eyes, or nose.

But there are preventive steps you can take to stay healthy. To limit your exposure to the virus, avoid contact with others who are sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, and frequently disinfect surfaces or objects that may be contaminated with flu germs.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)10

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Whether the topic is seasonal influenza, bird flu or something called a pandemic, everyone seems to be searching for answers about how to avoid them all. One of your best defenses is to understand them.

The cooler evenings, changing of the leaves and return to school signify that autumn is upon us. They also mean that more people are thinking about the coming flu season. It is time to gear up for seasonal influenza and to make sure you understand all the talk about bird (avian) flu and pandemics.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)11

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Preventing Influenza

Because flu viruses spread in respiratory droplets distributed by coughing and sneezing, they readily spread from person to person. Additionally, people may become infected by touching surfaces contaminated with flu virus and then touching their mouths and noses. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others as soon as one day before symptoms develop and up to five days after actually becoming sick. That means that you can pass on the flu to someone else before and after you know you are sick. It is important to avoid close contact with people who may have influenza. If you are sick, keep your distance from others and, if possible, stay home from work, school and other activities. You will help prevent the spread of germs and protect others from catching the flu. By covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, you may help prevent those around you from getting the flu. Frequent hand washing will also help protect you and others from germs. In the United States, the primary option for reducing the effect of seasonal influenza is through annual vaccination.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)12

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Immunisation is your best defence against influenza. Even fit and healthy people should consider getting the flu jab to protect themselves.

Source: New Zealand Health13

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How to avoid spreading the flu

Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people. You're more likely to give it to others in the first 5 days.

Flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

To reduce the risk of spreading flu:

  • wash your hands often with warm water and soap
  • use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
  • bin used tissues as quickly as possible

Source: NHS Choices UK14

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How to prevent flu

The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others.

It's more effective to get the vaccine before the start of the flu season (December to March).

Source: NHS Choices UK15

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Oseltamivir, amantadine (review) and zanamivir for the prophylaxis of influenza NICE technology appraisal 158, September 2008.

Source: GOV.UK16

Prevention of Flu

Healthcare Prevention: Influenza prevention measures should be implemented in all healthcare settings. Supplemental measures may need to be implemented during influenza season if outbreaks of healthcare-associated influenza occur within certain facilities, such as long-term care facilities and hospitals.

Source: CDC17

Vaccinations: Flu

Sidestep the Flu: Get Vaccinated

Influenza, or flu, can knock you off your feet and leave you miserable for nearly a week. It can cause fever, aches and pains, coughing, and exhaustion.

The best way to avoid this fate is to get a flu vaccine each year as early as possible, before or even during flu season, which usually lasts from October to as late as May. The vaccine is available as either a shot or a nasal spray.

Flu vaccines can reduce illness, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school. Vaccines can also prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. When more people get vaccinated, it’s harder for the flu virus to spread.

Experts recommend that everyone 6 months and older get the annual flu vaccine, with rare exceptions. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about which vaccine options are best for you and your family.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)18

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That’s why it’s so important for young people to get vaccinated. Vaccination is the best protection against flu. Vaccines contain pieces of viruses to “teach” your immune system to recognize and attack the real viruses as soon as they enter your body.

Each year, scientists look at the influenza viruses emerging at the end of the flu season. Then they begin making a vaccine, hoping to match the viruses that will emerge in full force the following fall and winter. “You can predict with accuracy about 85% of the time at the end of a given flu season what you’re going to see the next flu season,” Fauci says.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)19

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Some viruses constantly change their genetic material, allowing them to evade immune system attack. That’s why researchers who create vaccines for seasonal influenza, or “flu,” have to make a new flu vaccine each year.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)20

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Another great way to stay healthy during the cooler months is vaccination. Getting a flu vaccine each fall is the single best way to prevent the flu. Flu vaccines can be given as a shot or a nasal spray. Both provide protection against the strains of flu that experts predict are going to be the most common this winter.

Talk to your health care provider about flu vaccines and other strategies to help you beat back germs. Taking some simple steps will help you and your family stay healthy and enjoy the festivities this fall and winter.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)21

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Seasonal flu, or influenza, viruses change slightly over time, allowing the virus to evade our immune systems. That’s why there’s a new seasonal flu shot every year: to protect you from the newest strains, or varieties, of virus.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)22

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Good Protection: Get a Flu Shot

One of the best ways to prevent flu is to get a flu shot each fall. Getting the shot every year is important because the flu virus is slightly different each year. The best time to get the shot is in the autumn, before flu season begins.

Even though the shot is effective and covered by Medicare, most older Hispanics don’t get a yearly flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 48% of Hispanics get the vaccine compared to 69% of non-Hispanic whites. Many worry about safety, but in most people, the flu shot doesn’t cause any side effects. A few have some soreness or redness on the arm where the shot is given.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)23

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As you stand in line waiting to roll up your sleeve for that annual flu shot, you may wonder why you need the influenza vaccine every year when other types of vaccines offer a lifetime of protection. The reason is that the virus that causes the flu constantly changes over time, so the vaccine you got last year may not protect you against the bug this year. Each year, researchers try to predict how the flu virus will change and develop a new vaccine before flu season starts.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)24

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Seasonal flu vaccines work by generating antibodies that target the head region of hemagglutinin (HA), a glycoprotein found on the surface of the influenza virus. The head region is subject to mutations, leading to a constant variation in viruses. As a result, vaccines are updated annually to best target the viruses most likely to spread and cause illness in a given flu season.

Source: NIAID (NIH)25

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Seasonal vaccines

Seasonal flu viruses change every year. So vaccines need to be updated every year to ensure they work. Although safe and effective vaccines exist, not enough Europeans get vaccinated.

Source: EC (EU)26

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Flu activity continues to increase in the United States, with widespread activity in over 35 states. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. If you have not gotten vaccinated yet this season, you should get vaccinated now— it's not too late!

Source: CDC Features27

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Flu vaccine

Preteens and teens should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October if possible. It is very important for preteens and teens with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes to get the flu shot, but the flu can be serious for even healthy kids.

Source: CDC Features28

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Indications for Use

Annual seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for those aged ?6 months and is the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications. In the United States, annual influenza vaccination is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for all US residents aged ?6 months who do not have contraindications.

Many influenza vaccine products are available for use in the United States ( and can be grouped into categories: inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), and recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). IIV can be administered by intramuscular or intradermal injection and is available for people ?6 months of age. Specific age indications vary by manufacturer and product; label instructions should be followed. LAIV, administered by nasal spray, is approved for use only in healthy people aged 2-49 years who are not pregnant. RIV is indicated for people aged 18-49 years. Within indicated groups, there is no preference for any particular vaccine.

Any traveler, including people at high risk for complications of influenza, who did not receive influenza vaccine during the preceding fall or winter and wants to reduce the risk for influenza infection should consider influenza vaccination ?2 weeks before departure if they plan to travel to the tropics, with organized tourist groups at any time of year, or to the Southern Hemisphere from April through September.

No information is available about the benefits of revaccinating people before summer travel who already were vaccinated during the preceding fall, and revaccination is not recommended. People at higher risk for influenza complications should consult with their health care provider to discuss the risk for influenza or other travel-related diseases before embarking on travel during the summer.

Seasonal influenza vaccines are not expected to provide protection against human infection with animal-origin influenza viruses, including avian influenza viruses H5N1 and A H7N9.

Source: CDC Yellow Book 201629

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Vaccine Safety and Adverse Reactions

Inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV)

The most frequent side effects of vaccination with intramuscular and intradermal IIV in adults are soreness and redness at the vaccination site. These local reactions are slightly more common with vaccine administered intradermally and with high-dose IIV. They generally are mild and rarely interfere with the ability to conduct usual activities. Fever, malaise, myalgia, and other systemic symptoms sometimes occur after vaccination; these may be more frequent in people with no previous exposure to the influenza virus antigens in the vaccine (such as young children) and are generally short-lived.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) was associated with the 1976 swine influenza vaccine, with an increased risk of 1 additional case of GBS per 100,000 people vaccinated. None of the studies of influenza vaccines other than the 1976 influenza vaccine have demonstrated a similar increase in GBS. Currently, the estimated risk for vaccine-related GBS is low, approximately 1 additional case per 1 million people vaccinated.

Source: CDC Yellow Book 201630

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Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)

The most frequent side effects of LAIV reported in healthy adults include minor upper respiratory symptoms, runny nose, and sore throat, which are generally well tolerated. Some children and adolescents have reported fever, vomiting, myalgia, and wheezing. These symptoms, particularly fever, are more often associated with the first administered LAIV dose and are self-limited.

LAIV should not be administered to any child aged <2 years or adult aged ?50 years. Children aged 2-4 years who have a history of wheezing in the past year or who have a diagnosis of asthma should not receive LAIV. Children and adults aged 2-49 years who have conditions that increase the risk of severe influenza, including pregnancy, should receive IIV or RIV and not LAIV.

Recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV)

The first RIV was licensed in the United States in January 2013. Postmarketing safety data have not yet accumulated; however, prelicensure safety data indicate that the most common reactions were headache, fatigue, and myalgia. Safety and effectiveness of RIV have not been established in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, or adults ?50 years of age.

Source: CDC Yellow Book 201631

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Precautions and Contraindications

Influenza vaccine is contraindicated in people who have had a previous severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine, regardless of which vaccine component was responsible for the reaction. Immediate hypersensitivity reactions (such as hives, angioedema, allergic asthma, and systemic anaphylaxis) rarely occur after influenza vaccination. These reactions likely result from hypersensitivity to vaccine components, one of which is residual egg protein. Vaccine options are available for people with a history of egg allergy who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg, people with a history of severe reaction to egg, and people with no known history of egg allergy but who are suspected of being egg-allergic; these are outlined at

Source: CDC Yellow Book 201632

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Note: For the 2016-17 season, CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-17. The 2016-17 influenza vaccination recommendations are now available.

Source: CDC33

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Vaccination is the best way to reduce the risk of getting flu. Being vaccinated gives you protection against flu by building immunity to the virus and preventing transmission of the virus to other people.

Vaccination is required annually, as immunity from the vaccine decreases over time and the vaccine can change each year to cover the current virus strains. Vaccination usually takes up to 2 weeks to be effective.

The flu season usually peaks in most of Queensland in July/August.

Vaccination is recommended for anyone aged 6 months and older who wishes to protect themselves from influenza and its complications.

Free vaccine is available for those individuals at greatest risk of severe flu. They are:

  • pregnant women during any trimester
  • adults aged over 65 years old
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years old and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to 5 years old
  • individuals over 6 months old with medical conditions predisposing them to severe flu.

Where to get vaccinated:

  • Your doctor or local immunisation provider
  • Community pharmacies may offer a flu vaccination service
  • Some local councils run immunisation clinics
  • Some employers may offer free flu vaccinations for their staff.

The vaccine does not contain live flu viruses and cannot cause flu. However, some people may experience mild flu-like symptoms for up to 48 hours as their immune system responds to the vaccine. Serious reactions to immunisation are rare. While some people may experience mild side effects such as pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site, these usually resolve quickly.

Immediate allergic reactions to flu vaccine are rare. People who are allergic to eggs are no longer excluded from flu vaccinations and should discuss their egg allergy and vaccination with their doctor.

If you experience any symptoms that concern you, call 13 HEALTH, your doctor, or the immunisation provider.

Source: Queensland Health34

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2017 seasonal flu vaccine

World Health Organization (WHO) influenza experts select the influenza strains for the southern hemisphere season each year. Their selection is usually accurate but it is never entirely possible to know what strains will circulate until well into the season.

The influenza vaccine is updated each year to reflect virus strains circulating around the world in the last 12 months.

In 2017, only the four strain, or quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) is available in Australia.

The virus strains included in the 2017 vaccines are:

  • A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus (New strain differs from strain in 2016 vaccine)
  • A (H3N2): an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) like virus
  • B: a B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus
  • B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus.

Source: Queensland Health35

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The flu is easy to pass from person to person. The virus also changes over time, which means you can get it over and over again. That's why most people (age 6 months and older) should get the flu shot each year.

Get your shot between September and November. Then, you may be protected when the winter flu season starts.

Source: NIA (NIH)36

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Not Too Late to Get Vaccinated Against Flu

Cough. Sore throat. Muscle aches. Flu season is here, and the best way to avoid those dreaded symptoms is to get your flu vaccine.

Flu season occurs primarily in the winter, but outbreaks can begin as early as October and last until May. Everyone 6 months of age or older should get the flu vaccine each year. It usually takes two weeks after you are vaccinated for antibodies to develop and provide flu protection, so it's best to get your vaccine as soon as it becomes available. But it's not too late to get protected. Your vaccination can also help protect others who may be more vulnerable to serious flu illness.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)37

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The 2015-2016 Season

Three kinds of flu viruses commonly circulate among people today: influenza A (H1N1) viruses, influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and influenza B viruses. Each year, experts predict what flu viruses will be the most common during the upcoming season. For the 2015- 2016 season, the vaccine is made to protect against the following three viruses:

  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (this is a B/Yamagata lineage virus)

Some of the 2015-2016 flu vaccine will also protect against an additional B virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus). This is a B/Victoria lineage virus.

Typically, one dose of the flu vaccine can protect you for the duration of the flu season, even as your antibody levels decline over time. Children 6 months to 8 years may need two doses of the vaccine for ample protection from the flu bug.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)38

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Time to Get Your Seasonal Flu Shot

Give Your Sneeze the Sleeve!

If you don't have a tissue to cover your mouth and nose, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.

Flu season runs from October 2014 through May 2015. The best way to avoid catching the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Here's what you need to know.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.

For the 2014-2015 flu season, the flu vaccine provides protection against three viruses: A (H1N1), A (H3N2), and B.

While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the top three or four flu viruses that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season.

People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins.

Flu vaccines are designed to protect against flu viruses that experts predict will be the most common during the upcoming season. Three kinds of flu viruses commonly circulate among people today: influenza A (H1N1) viruses, influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and influenza B viruses. Each year, one or two flu viruses of each kind are used to produce the seasonal influenza vaccine.

All of the 2014-2015 influenza vaccine is made to protect against the following three viruses:

  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • an A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.

Some of the 2014-2015 flu vaccine also protects against an additional B virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus).

Vaccines that give protection against three viruses are called trivalent vaccines. Vaccines that give protection against four viruses are called quadrivalent vaccines.

More information about influenza vaccines is available at

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)39

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Preventing seasonal flu: Get vaccinated

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. There are two types of flu vaccines:

  • "Flu shots"—inactivated vaccines (containing killed virus) that are given with a needle. There are three flu shots being produced for the United States market now.
  • The nasal-spray flu vaccine—a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that is given as a nasal spray (sometimes called LAIV for "Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine"). The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu. LAIV is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

Find Flu Clinics Near You at CDC's Flu website

Use the Flu Vaccine Finder at vaccination/index.html to find nearby locations offering flu shots or nasal spray flu vaccine. Locations are being added and updated throughout the season by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)40

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Influenza (flu) vaccine: Protects against different strains of seasonal influenza. A yearly dose is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)41

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The seasonal influenza vaccine is altered most years to cover the particular strains of the virus that are circulating each year. When a new (novel) strain of the flu virus emerges that infects many people in a very short time, it is called a "flu pandemic’.

Source: New Zealand Health42

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Annual vaccination is recommended for certain groups of people. Currently all children between the ages of 2, 3 or 4 years and children in year groups 1, 2 and 3 are recommended to have vaccination against influenza.

This programme will include more year groups in the future, your school health team will be able to advise you on this Influenza vaccine is also recommended for pregnant women. For further details see national immunisation schedule.

Source: GOV.UK43

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Annual flu programme

Vaccination of at risk groups and children can offer some protection against infection. The NHS plans each year for the demands of flu across England in its annual flu programme.

See Latest vaccine uptake guidance and the latest coverage for figures on seasonal flu vaccination rates.

Source: GOV.UK44

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  1. Source: NHLBI (NIH): health/ health-topics/ topics/ pnu/ prevention
  2. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): issue/ oct2014/ feature2
  3. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2007/ October/ docs/ 01features_02.htm
  4. ibid.
  5. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2006/ December/ docs/ 01features_01.htm
  6. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2005/ October2005/ docs/ 01features_01.htm
  7. Source: CDC Features: Features/ FluPrevention/ index.html
  8. Source: CDC Yellow Book 2016: travel/ yellowbook/ 2016/ infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/ influenza
  9. Source: Queensland Health: HealthCondition/ condition/ 8/ 118/ 82/ influenza-the-flu
  10. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): magazine/ issues/ winter16/ articles/ winter16pg12-13.html
  11. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): magazine/ issues/ fall06/ articles/ fall06pg18-21.html
  12. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): magazine/ issues/ fall06/ articles/ fall06pg21.html
  13. Source: New Zealand Health: your-health/ conditions-and-treatments/ diseases-and-illnesses/ influenza
  14. Source: NHS Choices UK: conditions/ Flu/ 
  15. ibid.
  16. Source: GOV.UK: government/ collections/ seasonal-influenza-guidance-data-and-analysis
  17. Source: CDC: HAI/ organisms/ organisms.html
  18. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): issue/ nov2015/ capsule2
  19. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2009/ December/ feature1.htm
  20. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2008/ August/ feature1.htm
  21. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2007/ October/ docs/ 01features_02.htm
  22. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2006/ December/ docs/ 01features_01.htm
  23. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2005/ November2005/ docs/ 02capsules.htm
  24. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2005/ October2005/ docs/ 01features_01.htm
  25. Source: NIAID (NIH): diseases-conditions/ niaid-researchers-advance-development-universal-flu-vaccine
  26. Source: EC (EU): health/ vaccination/ influenza_en
  27. Source: CDC Features: Features/ FluPrevention/ index.html
  28. Source: CDC Features: Features/ PreteenVaccines/ index.html
  29. Source: CDC Yellow Book 2016: travel/ yellowbook/ 2016/ infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/ influenza
  30. ibid.
  31. ibid.
  32. ibid.
  33. Source: CDC: flu/ about/ disease/ index.htm
  34. Source: Queensland Health: HealthCondition/ condition/ 8/ 118/ 82/ influenza-the-flu
  35. ibid.
  36. Source: NIA (NIH): health/ shots-safety
  37. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): magazine/ issues/ winter16/ articles/ winter16pg12-13.html
  38. ibid.
  39. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): magazine/ issues/ fall14/ articles/ fall14pg10-11.html
  40. ibid.
  41. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): magazine/ issues/ fall14/ articles/ fall14pg20-21.html
  42. Source: New Zealand Health: your-health/ conditions-and-treatments/ diseases-and-illnesses/ influenza
  43. Source: GOV.UK: government/ publications/ health-protection-in-schools-and-other-childcare-facilities/ chapter-9-managing-specific-infectious-diseases
  44. Source: GOV.UK: government/ collections/ seasonal-influenza-guidance-data-and-analysis

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