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Influenza Vaccines Adapt to Flu Virus' Change: A Look At Modern Flu Vaccines

First Posted: Sep 23, 2016 03:37 PM EDT
SEPTEMBER 15: Actor James Van Der Beek rehearsing a scene for a FluMist® Quadrivalent (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) video on September 15, 2014.
SEPTEMBER 15: Actor James Van Der Beek rehearsing a scene for a FluMist® Quadrivalent (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) video on September 15, 2014.
(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for FluMist Quadrivalent)

Influenza or flu is a respiratory disease with symptoms such as high fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, runny nose and fatigue. Influenza season is usually from May up to October.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans are recommended to take flu vaccines as early as the age of 6. Since influenza virus changes its trend every year, flu vaccines are given every year.

Flu Vaccines Modified

Researchers aim to develop a vaccine that can cover all strains of flu virus that can last for a lifetime. The Tazewell County Health Department created a vaccine that can fight the four strains of influenza, but the newest vaccine which is the nasal spray is not an option.

Sarah Fenton, TCHD director of nursing and clinical services, said: "Practices voted not to recommend the nasal vaccine because studies showed that last year the nasal vaccine was not very effective. That's the primary group in the nation who makes vaccine recommendations and that's the group that we follow for our practices here."

According to CDC, a projected number of 157 million to 168 million vaccines will be available for this year up to 2017.

This year, CDC will be using vaccines that are egg-based technology which means the vaccine is created with egg proteins. CDC recommended that people with egg allergies will be monitored up to 30 minutes after taking the shot.

The Most Effective Flu Vaccine

Nasal spray is not an advisable flu vaccine, as confirmed by CDC.

In a study published in Science and Nature Medicine, a flu vaccine is needed to create that will target the stem. According to scientist Dr. John Oxford, a flu expert at the University of London, antibodies can control the flu virus by attacking the stem of hemmaglutinin (HA) molecule.

However, getting the flu vaccine might still give someone flu. It actually depends on the immune system of the person who was given the vaccine.

Thus, the saying "prevention is better than cure" should be kept in mind. Staying healthy and avoiding what can cause pain and illness is crucial to avoid the inconveniences brought by influenza.

 

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