The influenza vaccine is a vaccine that is used to protect against the infection caused by influenza viruses. It was formulated to help individuals gain immunity against the influenza virus. The influenza virus, also known as the flu, has recorded nearly 10 million cases in India every year. Several people experienced symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, runny nose, congestion, and more. This viral infection has varying risk factors depending on the immunity of the individual. These vaccines are safe and may cause mild side effects once the vaccine is administered. All the influenza vaccine shots have to be taken for the body‘s immune response to be at its best.
In India, the influenza vaccine price ranges from around ₹800 to ₹1,500 per shot. According to reports, the cost can be more than that as well when it comes to flu shots. The influenza vaccine covers diseases like swine flu, seasonal flu, and other types of influenza. In recent times, the number of people taking the influenza vaccine has gone high and according to various reports, this is mainly due to the pandemic. However, the flu vaccine is not mandatory to be taken in India.
The flu vaccine is usually given because the flu is infectious and can cause severe respiratory infections. Typically, the flu is confused with the common cold. The common cold is not particularly extreme and lasts only up to a few days. On the other hand, the flu can cause severe symptoms and can stay for a prolonged period. In addition to these flu infections, superinfections may also occur in some cases. Superinfections are essentially bacterial infections that are followed by a respiratory infection. So, to stay protected from such illnesses and their dire side effects, flu shots are administered.
The effectiveness of an influenza vaccine varies depending on the vaccine and individual. Recent studies have shown that the flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu by around 40% to 60%. Further, the effectiveness of these flu shots can also vary from season to season. The two important factors that decide the effectiveness of a flu vaccine are characteristics of the person taking it, like their age, health, etc. and how well the vaccines match the flu virus spreading in the community.
Now that you have understood why it is given and how this vaccine actually works, let’s take a look at how the influenza vaccine is administered.
First, you will be asked to arrive at a medical centre or a hospital as per your choice during a particular time with an appointment. The entire process of giving the vaccine is fairly simple.
Next, your vitals will be checked. Usually, your blood pressure and pulse would be measured. Then, the flu vaccine cost would be mentioned to you before you complete the payment.
The next step involves the healthcare practitioner asking you to sit in a comfortable position. Meanwhile, the nurse/doctor calculates the dose that should be administered to you based on your age and gets the syringe prepared.
Finally, the vaccine will be administered to you on your upper arm. Before you leave, you will be instructed on what to do in case of any side effects.
Yes, you get more than one type of flu shot. Given below are the different types of flu vaccines.
This type of vaccine is the oldest form and is made using an egg-based manufacturing process. This process requires chicken eggs to develop the vaccine.
The FDA approved this type of vaccine in 2012 and it is also used to make inactivated flu vaccines. They do not require chicken eggs because the vaccine is grown in animal cells.
This type of vaccine uses a recombinant technology process. This method got approved for use in 2013.
The influenza vaccine is essential for all age groups to stay protected from the virus. However, the following classes of people are prioritised when it comes to administering the vaccine.
Individuals who are 65 years of age or are older.
Healthcare workers who are at risk of being exposed to flu patients.
Individuals who live in a nursing home or an assisted care facility.
People who have chronic conditions like HIV, diabetes, asthma, or any heart condition.
Individuals with a compromised immune system.
In addition to these individuals, it is recommended for everyone to get the flu vaccine as a measure of precaution.
The flu vaccine carries several benefits along with it; however, a few individuals should avoid getting the vaccine administered as the vaccine would cause more harm than good. For instance, the flu vaccine for kids is encouraged, but not for infants. The following individuals should avoid getting the vaccine.
People who have developed a severe reaction to the influenza vaccine in the past.
Individuals who are allergic to the ingredients of the vaccine.
The vaccine is safe for children in the age group of 2 to 17. However, children younger than 2 years should not be given the influenza vaccine.
People who have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition that causes paralysis and weakness.
Besides, the following category of people should ensure to avoid the nasal spray:
Individuals above the age of 50
Women who are pregnant
People with a weak immune system
Individuals with chronic conditions like lung disease, asthma, etc.
People with a severe allergy to chicken eggs
If you have taken a shot of the influenza vaccine, it is best to stay prepared to experience the following side effects:
Dizziness and fainting
Rarely, some individuals face severe allergic reactions to the flu shot. In such cases or in cases of any severe side effects, it is best to consult a doctor immediately.
In case you have taken the nasal spray, you may experience mild flu-like symptoms after the spray. However, this side effect is most prominent in children.
The flu, although commonly neglected to be the common cold, can cause severe problems and can sometimes be life-threatening. So, you must get the flu shots at the earliest to stay safe and protect yourself from the influenza virus. In addition, if you are concerned about the side effects, it is best to consult a healthcare practitioner before getting the vaccine shot.
While you get yourself vaccinated against serious illnesses, it is important to be prepared for any emergencies. And, the best way you can be financially prepared is by getting health insurance. A health insurance plan will also take care of the treatment costs. Interestingly, it can aid you in your regular health checkups too. So without further ado, get your health insurance thorugh Finserv MARKETS now!
While you need a health insurance plan to stay financially protected during medical emergencies, they may not cover all medical treatments. So, if you are looking for a policy that covers a specific medical requirement, you can opt for a Pocket Insurance plan that covers such needs.
The influenza vaccine should be taken by individuals of all age groups except children below 2 years of age. However, some classes of people are prioritised for taking the flu vaccine. They are elderly individuals, healthcare practitioners, people working in medical care facilities, people with chronic health issues and those with weaker immunity.
You can take the flu vaccine by visiting a medical centre of your choice that administers the shot.
Usually, there are no major disadvantages of a flu shot but you might experience some mild side effects like soreness, redness or swelling around the vaccinated area, fever, etc. Some people may also experience severe allergic reactions.
Some of the common side effects of influenza vaccine are muscle pain, headache, nausea, dizziness and fainting, fever.
An influenza vaccine gives protection against flu for around 6 to 8 months.