Medical sleuths have been trailing the elusive cold and flu viruses for more than a century. Now they finally might be onto something. A universal flu vaccine could be on the horizon -- and even more effective treatments for the common cold. Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD, is one of the most ardent sleuths. His perp -- the flu virus -- has caused the deaths of more than 36,000 Americans, and that’s just in one year.
Marasco is an associate professor of medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard...
Some people get much sicker. Influenza can lead to pneumonia and can be dangerous for people with heart or breathing conditions. It can cause high fever, diarrhea, and seizures in children. On average, 226,000 people are hospitalized every year because of influenza and 36,000 die – mostly elderly.
Live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) contains live but attenuated (weakened) influenza virus. It is sprayed into the nostrils.
Inactivated influenza vaccine, sometimes called the “flu shot,” is given by injection. Inactivated influenza vaccine is described in a separate Vaccine Information Statement.
Influenza viruses are always changing. Because of this, influenza vaccines are updated every year, and an annual vaccination is recommended.
Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause flu that year. When there is a close match the vaccine protects most people from serious influenza-related illness. But even when the there is not a close match, the vaccine provides some protection.
Influenza vaccine will not prevent “influenza-like” illnesses caused by other viruses. It takes up to 2 weeks for protection to develop after the vaccination. Protection lasts up to a year.
LAIV does not contain thimerosal or other preservatives.