What is Flu?
To explain the flu vaccine’s side effects, we must first grasp the flu and the types of flu. The flu, often known as influenza, flu strikes once a year, generally in the winter, which is why it’s also known as seasonal flu. It is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus. A virus is a tiny infectious agent that infects your body’s cells and causes illness. Because of the similarities in symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, and stuffy nose, the flu is sometimes confused with another virus, the common cold. Fever, cold chills, pains all over the body, headache, tiredness, and even specific gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are all flu symptoms.
Sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and cough are not unusual to place signs and symptoms which could persist everywhere from 2 to 14 days. Roughly two-thirds of people get better in approximately a week.
Types of Flu
A, B, and C are the three kinds of influenza viruses. Annual influenza epidemics with up to 20% of the population sniffling, hurting, coughing, and running high fevers are caused by Type A and B viruses. Type C flu is likewise contagious, although the symptoms are considerably milder.
Type A: Animals can be infected by viruses, although it is more frequent for people to have symptoms linked with this form of flu. Wild birds widely spread this flu virus. The type A flu virus is continually evolving and is responsible for the majority of large-scale flu outbreaks. People who are already infected disseminate the influenza A2 virus (and other influenza types). The surfaces that an infected person has touched and the rooms where they have recently been, especially locations where they have been sneezing, are the most prevalent flu hot spots.
Type B: Type B flu viruses, unlike type A flu viruses, are only found in humans. Although type B flu has a milder reaction than type A flu, it can still be exceedingly dangerous in rare cases. Type B influenza viruses do not have subtypes and do not create pandemics.
Type C: Humans are also infected with influenza C viruses. They are, however, less aggressive than type A or B. The influenza type C viruses do not cause severe illness in most people. Type C flu viruses do not cause epidemics.
Influenza D virus is a species in the virus genus Delta influenza virus, in the family Orthomyxoviridae, that causes influenza. Influenza D viruses are known to infect pigs and cattle; no human infections from this virus have been observed.
What is the flu vaccine?
The influenza vaccination (also known as the flu vaccination) is used to protect people from becoming infected with the influenza (flu) virus. The flu virus can cause severe disease in anybody, but it is most dangerous in small children, the elderly, and those with chronic health issues. Even if you are not sick, you might become infected with the flu virus and spread it to others.
Vaccination is the most effective strategy to avoid infection and lessen the severity of disease if you become sick. It will significantly increase your chances of preventing the flu, but it will not provide 100% protection. When you get vaccinated, your body produces antibodies that fight the flu virus. This means your body will be able to respond to the flu more quickly and efficiently. It learns to recognize the virus by first seeing a non-infectious form of it in the vaccination. When it comes up again, your body will be able to react more quickly and more effectively. Even if you catch the flu after getting vaccinated, it’s generally a mild case that heals quickly and leaves you less likely to develop significant problems.
Who should be vaccinated?
Unless there is a medical reason to avoid it, it is advised that everyone between six months and older get vaccinated against the flu. The vaccination is especially crucial for those who are at high risk of acquiring flu complications, such as:
- People age of 65 and older
- Pregnant women
- Children under the age of five, especially those under the age of two
- Individuals who reside in nursing homes or other long-term care institutions
- Adults with children who have heart, kidney, lungs (asthma), liver, blood, or metabolic disorders (such as diabetes)
- Anyone under the age of 19 who is on long-term aspirin treatment.
Side effects and remedies
The flu vaccination, like other drugs, can have adverse effects, though not everyone experiences them. As your body adjusts to the new treatment, side symptoms often improve.
- Around the injection area, there may be pain, edema, or redness. This is a frequent side effect of immunization. It typically begins a few hours after the injection and subsides after a few days. Apply a cool, moist towel or an ice pack to the area where the injection was administered. Keep it on for a few minutes. Avoid rubbing the injection site. If it’s bothering you, tell your doctor.
- Fever. This is pretty normal for the first 1 or 2 days after having the injection, and it usually goes away after that. Drink plenty of water. If you feel uncomfortable, you can rest and take paracetamol. If the fever persists, contact your doctor.
- Unwellness, fatigue, or weakness, lack of appetite, muscular soreness, or headache. For the first 1 or 2 days after having the injection, they are incredibly usual. It usually takes a few days for them to settle. Rest and drink a lot of water. Paracetamol is not suggested for normal usage after immunization. However, it can be used to relieve acute pain. If it’s bothering you, tell your doctor.
- Skin rash, itching, blisters, peeling skin, swelling of the cheeks, lips, and mouth, or breathing difficulties are all signs of an allergic response. The flu vaccination causes incredibly few allergic reactions. If you get these symptoms within a few days after receiving the vaccine, contact your doctor immediately.