Influenza Vaccines

(scroll down to find more information about the vaccine)

  • vaccine
    • there are three types of viruses
      • type A, type B, and type C
      • type A is the most common- then type B
      • type C is the lease severe and is most like the common cold
    • the vaccine can protect you from type A and type B and sometimes C
    • the vaccine is made up of two types of A viruses and one type of B virus
    • type A and B
      • type A
        • the most common and sever type of flu virus
        • they are found in found in chickens, ducks, pigs, whales, horses, and seals
      • type B
        • only found in humans

  • how viruses get in the cells
    • has special proteins that are on its surface that are going to connect with special proteins on the surface of the cell (receptors)
    • the virus is much much smaller than the cell and its proteins connect with the receptors- fusing the virus with the cell- enabling the virus to inject its genetic information- hijack the cell- and get the cell to make copies of the virus
  • vaccine benefits
    • prevents the flu
    • prevents the spread of flu
    • can reduce the number of flu related deaths
    • prevents the patient from having sever symptoms if they catch the flu
    • protection lasts about 6 months
  • what is the vaccine and when do i get it?
    • you can either get a shot or the nasal spray

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    • you have to get the new vaccine every year since the virus changes every year
    • you need to get the vaccine in the early fall
    • made by growing the flu virus in hen eggs- purifying it and completely killing it with a chemical... the influenza vaccine is a "killed" virus
    • each year they determine which viruses are being circulated (its a guess)

    • people with egg allergies cant get the vaccination because it is grown in eggs- but people can get "desensitized" by being exposed to eggs a little bit more each year
    • the shot (treated with a chemical) and a nasal spray is a weakened virus (only to be given to healthy people)
    • it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to start working
    • there is a different vaccine each year
    • it is one of the hardest vaccine to make


  • side effects of the vaccine
    • the side effects are very rare
    • soreness and redness where the vaccine was given
    • a low fever
    • aches
    • for the people who have never had the vaccine before
      • 28 - 78% acquire nasal congestion
      • 16 - 44% headaches
      • 15 - 25% sore throats
      • less than 1% develop fever, chills, and muscle aches
    • getting symptoms from the vaccine doesnt mean that you have the flu
      • the vaccine is a killed virus
    • people with egg allergies may have extreme allergic reactions
      • hives, swollen throat, low blood pressure or shock
  • who should get the vaccine?
    • adults 65 and older
    • children 6 months of age to 5 years old
    • anyone with chronic illnesses
    • pregnant women (if they are pregnant during flu season)
    • health care workers who will be in close contact with infected patients
    • people who live in nursing homes
    • Children aged 6 months to 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy
    • Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than 6 months old
    • Persons with any condition that can compromise respiratory function, e.g. cognitive dysfunction

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