Flu vaccine is an annual vaccination that is given for a specific year to protect human beings against diseases caused by the highly variable flu or influenza virus. Each flu-shot, seasonal influenza vaccinations comprises of antigens which represents trivalent or quadrivalent vaccine of influenza virus strains. Of these one or two strains of virus consists of type B flu virus strains along with one flu type A H1N1(subtype) virus strain and one another flu virus H3N2 (subtype) virus strain.
Flu vaccine can be administered both as a nasal spray and also by injection which is popularly known in layman’s term as flu-shot.
Medically speaking, the flu vaccine has been designed to protect individuals against influenza and also to prevent the spread of this contagious disease within the community. It has been observed that individuals who have taken flu-shot generally do not suffer much even if a person contacts a strain of flu that the vaccine did not contain, as flu-shot reduces the severity of the diseases.
According to several studies done on this vaccine, it has been established that during an influenza epidemic (where a single strain of flu virus is responsible for the malady), an effectively designed flu vaccine can largely decrease the number of cases and thus is capable of controlling the pandemic in an effectual way. The Sottish study on the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic is a big example for such a useful control of a wide spread flu pandemic in Scotland.
Some of the other health benefits of flu vaccination are:
Lessens doctor’s visits
A recent study done on flu-shot by the CDC-US (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-USA) has indicated that influenza vaccination lessens the risk of doctors’ visits owing to influenza by approximately 60 percent among the overall US population. This happens because the influenza vaccine stops the growth and spread of the virus within any specific locational demography or community.
Protects older people
It has been noted that influenza is a disease which often proves fatal for older men and women and also adults who suffers from chronic health conditions and serious secondary diseases. Availing flu-shot at the right time of the year, often helps in protecting these clinically highly vulnerable senior-citizens within the community.
Although infants who are less than 6 months old cannot get themselves vaccinated against the influenza virus, but for those children who are beyond 6 months, greatly benefit from the flu-shot, as it helps in keeping them fit and quarantined against influenza and influenza related diseases. As the level of immunity is often not too strong in children, flu-shot is a must for children beyond the age of 6 months.
Protects pregnant women
Flu vaccination not only helps in protecting pregnant mothers during their term of pregnancy, but it also aids in protecting the newborns for up to 6 months after they are born. A recent study done on flu-shot on pregnant women has shown that infants born out of pregnant women who has been given flu-shot are 92 percent more effective in preventing hospitalization of their infants owing to flu.
Makes the sickness milder
Even if you get caught up with flu, taking flu-shot in advance helps in reducing the intensity of the disease.
Hence it is especially important that all people across the globe must get themselves vaccinated with flu vaccine and also seek immediate treatment if they get flu symptoms, to make this world a better place to live in.