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Influenza Vaccines

1

Influenza vaccines, also known as flu shots, are vaccines that protect against influenza.

A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease.

Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus.

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2

A new version of the vaccine is developed twice a year as the influenza virus rapidly changes.

The Orthomyxoviruses are a family of RNA viruses that includes six genera: Influenza virus A, Influenza virus B, Influenza virus C, Isavirus, Thogotovirus and Quaranjavirus.

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3

While their effectiveness varies from year to year, most provide modest to high protection against influenza.

4

They decrease the number of missed days of work by a half day on average.

5

Vaccinating children may protect those around them but the effectiveness of the vaccine in those over 65 years old is unknown because the evidence for this group is poor.

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Both the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends nearly all people over the age of 6 months get the vaccine yearly.

The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.

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This is especially true for pregnant women, children between six months and five years of age, those with other health problems, Native Americans, and those who work in healthcare.

In the United States, Native Americans also known as American Indians or just simply Indians are considered to be people whose pre-Columbian ancestors were indigenous to the lands within the nation's modern boundaries.

Pregnancy, also known as gravidity or gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman.

8

The vaccines are generally safe.

9

In children fever occurs in between 5 and 10%, as may muscle pains or feeling tired.

Fever, also known as pyrexia and febrile response, is defined as having a temperature above the normal range due to an increase in the body's temperature set-point.

10

In certain years, the vaccine causes Guillain–Barré syndrome in older people in about one per million doses.

Guillain–Barré syndrome is a rapid-onset muscle weakness caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system.

11

It should not be given to those with severe allergies to eggs or to previous versions of the vaccine.

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The vaccines come in both inactive and weakened viral forms.

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The inactive version should be used for those who are pregnant.

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They come in forms that are injected into a muscle, sprayed into the nose, or injected into the middle layer of the skin.

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Vaccination against influenza began in the 1930s with large scale availability in the United States beginning in 1945.

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It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications recommended for a basic health system.

A health system, also sometimes referred to as health care system or as healthcare system, is the organization of people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations.

WHO Model List of Essential Medicines is published by the World Health Organization.

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The wholesale price in the developing world is about 5.25 USD per dose as of 2014.

A developing country, also called a third world country, a less developed country or underdeveloped country, is a nation with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index relative to other countries.

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In the United States it costs less than 25 USD.

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