It’s that wonderful time of the year.  When everything turns magically orange and gold. When drinks all become pumpkin this and pumpkin spice that.  And it’s also time for your FLU SHOT!

We know our family must get the shot – but what are the guidelines for US?  Should ZEBRAS vaccinate or not?  Advice from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

“While vaccination is the best tool for prevention of the flu, should patients with immune deficiency be given the vaccine?

Immune deficient patients have a decreased resistance to infections, often have repeated infections, or cope with infections that are more severe and cause unexpected complications.

In general, there are two different types of vaccines. One is a live vaccine, the other is a killed vaccine. Live vaccines contain live bacteria or viruses that have been modified or “attenuated”. This means they’ve lost their disease-causing ability or are administered by a route that prevents them from causing clinical disease. Killed vaccines are just what the name says—the bacteria or virus in the vaccine is dead.

The difference between the live and killed vaccines is important for those with immune disorders. The live vaccines should not be given to patients with immune deficiencies. This includes FluMist® live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) which is given as a nasal spray rather than a shot. (For the 2017-18 influenza season, LAIV is actually not recommended for anyone due to being less effective than the flu shot.) Also, family members or household contacts should not receive live vaccines, as they may transmit the live virus to the immune deficient family member.

It is important to emphasize that all patients with immune deficiencies and all members of their families or other household contacts should get the killed vaccine for influenza. Although there is the chance that some patients with immune deficiencies may not have a good immune response, the killed vaccine does not pose any danger. In addition, having family members and other household contacts receive the vaccine reduces their risk of developing influenza and transmitting it to the patient with immune deficiency.

Aside from making sure the immune deficient patient and his or her household members receive vaccinations with the killed influenza virus, preventative measures such as hand washing should be practiced. If you, a family member or household contact begins to have flu symptoms, see a physician. A physician can prescribe anti-viral influenza drugs, which should be taken at the first sign of the symptoms”.

Please don’t fall for the myth that getting a vaccine will make you sick.

According to The Cleveland Clinic:

“After getting a vaccine, you may have mild symptoms or pain. But you won’t contract the actual illness a vaccine is designed to protect you from, contrary to popular belief.

For example, the flu shot is not what we call a “live” vaccine. That means the virus it contains is not active. You can’t actually get the flu from the flu shot.

Doctors do take precautions with “live” vaccines such as MMR, which isn’t recommended for women who are pregnant, for instance. But women who are pregnant can have tDap and the flu shot. In fact, the flu shot is often recommended to prevent an unwanted sickness during pregnancy.

Some patients do have allergic reactions to vaccines. But those cases are rare, and we monitor them closely.

For most people, the protective benefits of vaccines far outweigh the mild discomfort that may come with them. And don’t forget, that protection doesn’t just matter for you — it matters for everyone around you”.

AND THAT IS WHAT WE CALL HERD IMMUNITY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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