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Influenza Vaccine: Fending Off Flu 

by Muhammad Hussain
Influenza Vaccine

Overview

Seasonal Flu is a common infectious disease that affects people of all ages but is more severe in older adults. It is highly contagious and spreads through air droplets. Flu is considered to manifest as a febrile illness with varying degrees of symptoms. It causes a significant loss in productivity levels and hinders day-to-day activities. With a high prevalence rate, flu puts a massive burden on healthcare and the health of people in the US. Different treatment options are utilized each year but until now, no proper cure for Flu has been established. However, various Research Organizations are conducting Flu Vaccine Clinical Trials to find a potential and permanent cure for Flu.

In this blog, we will be discussing Flu, its symptoms, its pattern, the benefits of the Flu vaccine, and why the mRNA vaccine is considered the next breakthrough in the Research Industry.

How Do Vaccines Work?

By simulating an infection, vaccines can aid in disease prevention. This kind of simulated infection assists the immune system in training for future infections. The imitation infection can sometimes result in subtle side effects following vaccination, such as fever. As the body develops immunity, such minor symptoms are typical and should be anticipated.

When enough T- and B-lymphocytes are present in the vaccinated body, they will retain their memory of how to combat the disease. However, after immunization, the body normally takes a few weeks to start producing T- and B-lymphocytes. Consequently, because the vaccine has not had enough time to work, it is possible for a person who was exposed to the disease soon before or immediately after vaccination to have symptoms and contract that disease.

The Pattern of Flu

How long would the Flu last? This is a common question asked by people who are down with flu. A runny nose and high fever can be very irritating and can interfere with the normal routine.
The good part is, if it is an uncomplicated case of seasonal flu, it will be short-lived but cough and weakness might persist for a few weeks.

Here are the Stages and Symptoms of Influenza

⦁ Day 0:

Some people can be contagious during this time even though they feel healthy. You might not even be aware that you’re sick and still be going about your daily routines. Most likely, you contracted it from someone in the previous 48 hours.

⦁ Day 1-3:

You might suddenly feel sick. The flu doesn’t make you feel unwell gradually like a cold does. Symptoms that could manifest:
1. Headache,
2. Weakness,
3. Wet cough,
4. Sore throat, and Muscle ache.
You can feel great on the first day of being sick and go about your daily activities, but you will gradually become worn out and develop a fever. Rapidly developing high fevers are more suggestive of flu.

⦁ Day 4:

There may be a decrease in fever and decreased muscle soreness. In this phase, cough and sore throat are typical. You might wish to spend the entire day in bed if you are feeling exhausted and have some chest pain.

⦁ Day 5:

Things begin to improve. Consult your physician if you continue to feel unwell or if your fever persists. There might be a secondary illness, such as bronchitis, which calls for antibiotic treatment.

⦁ Day 6 and Later:

Your symptoms should be tapering out at this point. You should be experiencing signs of recovery. Long-lasting symptoms, such as a cough and fatigue, might last for up to two weeks. Every person has a unique way of dealing with illness. Some people may just experience coughing and chest pain. Others might experience stuffy noses, sweats, chills, nausea, and other symptoms. Keeping hydrated and getting enough rest will help symptoms subside.

Role Of Influenza Vaccine in Fighting Off Flu

Recent studies indicate that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu disease in the general population by 40% to 60% during seasons when the majority of circulating flu viruses are well-matched to those used to create flu vaccines, even though vaccine effectiveness can vary.
The likelihood that a person will be protected from the flu by vaccination depends on at least two factors:
⦁ The characteristics of individuals who are vaccinated, such as age and health.
⦁ How well do the vaccines “match” the flu viruses spreading in the community? It is possible that getting the flu shot will offer little to no protection from sickness caused by one or more circulating influenza viruses, but will still offer protection against other flu viruses that are likely to circulate throughout the season. When circulating viruses and flu vaccines are closely matched, vaccination offers significant advantages by reducing the risk of flu illness and its complications.

When Is It The Right Time To Get Vaccinated for Flu?

Timing plays a significant role in vaccination. Since the seasonal flu usually begins around October and peaks between December and February but lasts till May. So ideally, people should get vaccinated in late September or the beginning of October.

The prerequisites for Flu Vaccine include no vaccination in the last 6 months. Everyone above the age of 6 months should get a flu shot every season. Different influenza vaccines are available for different age groups.

Is It Safe For Older Adults With Illnesses To Get The Flu Shot?

Despite having a weaker immune system, older age groups should also get vaccinated for the Flu vaccine. Here’s why:
1. Firstly, persons 65 years and older have a higher risk of developing serious illnesses, needing hospitalization, and passing       away from influenza.
2. Secondly, there are seasons when a large advantage can be shown, even if the efficiency of flu vaccines can be lower in             some older persons.
3. Thirdly, in various studies, flu vaccination is thought to lessen the severity of sickness in individuals who receive the               vaccine but nonetheless become ill.
4. Flu shots can shield you against more dire consequences including hospital stays and fatalities.
5. Hospitalizations can signal the start of a serious decline in general health and mobility in those 65 and older, which may       lead to a loss of the ability to live independently or carry out essential daily tasks.

How Does Flu Vaccine Benefit People?

People are often reluctant to get themselves vaccinated every year because of the fear of side effects. However, there is a list of advantages of vaccination that are listed below:
1. Seasonal flu vaccines prevent illnesses.
2. It reduces the severity of illness in vaccinated people who still get sick.
3. It reduces the risk of hospitalization associated with flu.
4. Flu vaccines are also helpful for people with chronic illnesses.
5. Flu vaccination during pregnancy helps to save the mother from flu and after delivery, it protects the infant from getting      flu in the initial months.
6. Flu vaccines can be lifesaving in kids.

The Takeaway

Every year, thousands of people contract the Flu virus which impacts their well-being to a great extent. It not only reduces their productivity levels but also deteriorates their physical well-being.

Vaccines are a helpful tool in fighting off infectious diseases effectively. These vaccines spark the immune system and speed up the defense system. Similarly, Influenza Vaccines are also considered to be the most effective preventive measure against the seasonal flu.

Researchers are trying to find a potential treatment option in the form of a vaccine that can help thousands of people in saving themselves from illnesses like the Flu.

To learn more about Flu Vaccines, consider reaching out to Clinical Research Organizations near you.

ALSO READ: Most Commonly Seen Types of Varicose Veins

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