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Everything You Should Know About Influenza Vaccines

Everything You Should Know About Influenza Vaccines

Influenza is an acute respiratory illness that affects your upper or lower respiratory tract, or both. The viruses that cause influenza travel through the air, causing seasonal epidemics in temperate and sometimes tropical regions. Influenza vaccines change continuously to continue being able to help you.

In this article, you will read about influenza vaccines in detail and understand their importance.

Importance of influenza vaccine

Most people who get influenza suffer from mild illness or fever. However, for certain people, it can be very serious and even life-threatening. People who are most likely to get serious complications from influenza are:

  • Babies
  • Adolescents
  • Pregnant women
  • Elder people
  • People with long-term health conditions like asthma or diabetes

Getting an influenza vaccine is the best option to lower the possibilities of getting the flu. Keep in mind that getting a vaccination not only helps you, but also helps protect the people around you.

Thus, you can talk to your doctor about getting an influenza vaccination and keep yourself and the people around you healthy.

Different types of influenza vaccines

Intradermal influenza vaccines

Doctors deliver this vaccine into the skin and not the muscle. An intradermal influenza vaccine has a much smaller needle than the regular vaccine needle. You can ask your doctor about this vaccination to get proper information.

Nasal spray flu vaccines

Weakened flu viruses make up the nasal spray flu vaccine, also known as the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV).

Cell-based flu vaccines

‘Cell-based’ refers to how the flu vaccines are made. Most inactivated influenza vaccines are made by growing influenza viruses in eggs. These eggs are grown in cultured cells of mammalian origin instead of in hens’ eggs.

Recombinant influenza vaccines

Unlike other types of vaccines, recombinant influenza vaccines do not require chicken eggs in the production process, nor an egg-grown vaccine virus. There can be a few side effects of this vaccine such as joint aches, fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches.

Seasonal influenza vaccines

Influenza vaccines are given in the arm with a needle. A seasonal influenza vaccine can protect against three or four influenza viruses. There are a few side effects of this vaccine such as fatigue, fever, muscle aches, and nausea.

Quadrivalent influenza vaccines

A quadrivalent influenza vaccine protects against four influenza viruses – two influenza B viruses and two influenza A viruses. Your doctor will help you with details to understand more about this vaccine along with its benefits for your condition.

Fluzone high-dose seasonal influenza vaccines

Fluzone high-dose is a trivalent inactivated flu vaccine. This is a licensed vaccine specifically for people 65 years and older. Fluzone high-dose vaccines contain four times the antigen of standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccines. The higher dose of antigen in this vaccine helps further protect older people against the flu.

Flu vaccination by jet injector

A jet injector is a medical device that is used for vaccination. The device has a high pressure, narrow stream of fluid that goes inside the skin easily instead of a hypodermic needle. This device was invented in the 1960s and it is still successfully used today to eradicate smallpox and other diseases.

Flu vaccine with adjuvant

An adjuvant is an ingredient that is added in the vaccine with the aim of creating a stronger immune response in the vaccinated person. This vaccine is for people 65 years and older. It is manufactured using an egg-based process, and is further formulated with the adjuvant MF59.

To learn more about influenza vaccination, you can always contact your doctor and get complete information.

Who should get an influenza vaccine?

Flu vaccines are routine for children, teens, adults, and older adults. Typically, infants receive different flu vaccinations to protect themselves from different viruses.

Vaccination is especially important for:

  • Children aged 6 months and older
  • Senior adults

It is important to get flu vaccinations twice a year. This is in order to:

  • Boost immunity. Immunity decreases over time.
  • Update your system against flu viruses, that change constantly.

There are certain people who are at higher risk of experiencing complications from the flu. They include:

  • People with a prolonged health condition like cancer, asthma, or diabetes.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Adults aged 65 and above.
  • Children younger than 2 years.

Are there any side effects of the influenza vaccines?

There are no major side effects of influenza vaccine, but there can be mild ones that will go away within a few hours or days. The common side effects that you or anyone in your family is likely to see are as follows:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Pain, swelling, or redness at the site of the shot
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle aches

Severe or serious side effects of influenza vaccines are very rare. However, if you see any symptoms of side effects, get medical help.

Key takeaway

The flu virus continues to evolve every year. Therefore it is important to take your flu vaccine regularly. There are many different kinds of flu vaccines. Among these are the cell-based flu vaccines, recombinant influenza vaccines, and seasonal vaccines. Some vaccines are especially for the use of older patients.

Learn more about Influenza here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine/https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm/Accessed on 06/05/2020

Influenza vaccines/https://www.who.int/immunization/research/development/influenza/en/Accessed on 06/05/2020

Different Types of Flu Vaccines/https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/different-flu-vaccines.htm/Accessed on 06/05/2020

Flu Vaccine (Influenza Immunization or Flu Shot)/https://www.medicinenet.com/flu_vaccination/article.htm/Accessed on 06/05/2020

Flu (Influenza)/https://www.vaccines.gov/diseases/flu/Accessed on 06/05/2020

Flu vaccine, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/ Accessed on 30/06/2021

Influenza Virus Vaccine injection, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/18888-influenza-virus-vaccine-injection Accessed on 30/06/2021

Influenza, https://doh.gov.ph/Health-Advisory/Influenza Accessed on 30/06/2021

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Jun 30, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel