From December 5th to the 11th, we celebrate National Influenza Immunization Week! The purpose of this week is to spread awareness of the flu and talk about the importance of getting your flu vaccination. If those who are young and healthy get their vaccinations, they can help protect those at a higher risk of contracting the flu.
Celebrate National Influenza Immunization Week by getting your flu vaccine with your McAllen pharmacy.
How Are Flu Vaccines Developed?
Most people assume that we receive the same flu vaccine each year. But what many don’t know is that 142 national influenza centers are collecting data all year long on how the current flu virus is affecting the population. Scientists monitor the strains of the virus that are making people sick and learn how the previous vaccines targeted those viruses.
Once all the data is collected, scientists from the five main centers for influenza research work to identify any new flu strains. They then determine which strains are most likely to spread and cause the flu. Then, twice a year, consultants from each of the five centers will meet and recommend the desired composition of the flu vaccine for the upcoming flu season.
Before these vaccines can be available to the public, they must be tested and approved by the FDA.
The Different Types of Flu Vaccines
In the U.S., the FDA has approved three different types of flu vaccines. Each of these types uses a different form of manufacturing to make the vaccine.
The three main types of flu vaccines are:
- Egg-based flu vaccine — This is the most common way that the flu vaccine is made. To produce this vaccine, fertilized chicken eggs are used as a host for growing the flu virus.
- Cell-based flu vaccine — This vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2012. Cell-based manufacturing uses animal cells instead of fertilized eggs to grow the virus.
- Recombinant flu vaccine — This vaccine is synthetically created and was approved for use in 2013.
Even though each vaccine uses different production technologies, they all meet the safety and effectiveness requirements of the FDA. If you have questions regarding the type of flu vaccine you are receiving, speak to your pharmacist or healthcare provider.
Flu Shot Myths
Although the flu shot is widely used, some are still skeptical about getting vaccinated due to the myths about flu shots. The three main reasons that people tend to shy away from the flu shot are:
“The flu shot causes the flu.”
Flu vaccines contain either a dead, inactivated virus or a single gene from the flu virus. After getting the flu shot, some may have a runny nose or mild fever, but these symptoms typically last for only a few days.
1. “I never get the flu.”
Even if a person is less susceptible to the flu, they can still carry it and spread it around to others. No matter if you’re young, healthy, or active, you still have a chance of contracting the flu virus.
2. “I got vaccinated last year and still got the flu.”
Although scientists do their best to create the perfect flu vaccine for the strains of the flu virus, it’s still an imperfect science. Because the flu virus mutates over time, you still have a chance of being infected with a different strain. However, those who do get vaccinated minimize their chances of getting the flu at all.
Get Your Flu Shot From Saenz Pharmacy
Celebrate National Influenza Immunization Week when you get your flu shot from your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy. Our pharmacists can answer any questions or concerns you have about the flu vaccine and put your worries to rest.