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Can Flu Vaccine Trigger Asthma

Is One Of The Three Available Vaccines A Better Choice For People With Asthma

How to Manage Viral Induced Asthma During Cold and Flu Season

There is no reason to prefer any one of the available vaccines for someone with asthma, according to Dr. Grayson. I continue to tell patients that the best vaccine is the one they can get sooner, he says. There isnt anything special about asthma that would lead to a preference of one vaccine over the other.

How You Catch Flu

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.

You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you should wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.

But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.

Can The Flu Vaccine Give Me The Flu

This is a common misconception. No, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. The influenza vaccine is an inactivated, killed vaccine and does not cause the flu. It can cause some nonspecific, mild symptoms including muscle aches, local redness and fever for one or two days after vaccination. These side effects usually reflect your bodys production of protective antibodies.

FluMist, a nasal spray vaccine, contains a low dose of live, weakened flu viruses. It does not cause the flu and is generally well tolerated. It is recommended for use in healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant. It can cause nasal congestion, sore throat and clear nasal drainage. It is not recommended in children less than 2 years old and in patients with asthma because of an increased risk of wheezing.

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Get Your Free Flu Shot

Free flu vaccination is available for the following group of people:

– Nervous system diseases that affect breathing

– Severe asthma, including ones that require frequent visits to the doctor or multiple medications

– Children aged between 6 months to 10 years who are taking aspirin long-term

Speak with your physician, vaccination provider or Aboriginal Health Worker to see if you’re eligible for the free flu vaccine. You may also ask your territory health department or local state representative about free vaccines for your children.

As of today, there are two new flu vaccines for people who are aged 65 and above. Speak to your doctor about getting the newer vaccines. It’s also important to note that all flu vaccines are categorized according to age and that the doctor should ask about the age of your child before administering one.

Flu vaccines can be obtained from a range of providers, including general practices, pharmacies, community health clinics, Aboriginal Medical Services and more. Employees can get their flu vaccines at their place of work when offered.

To get more information about the National Immunisation Program and flu, you can call 1800 671 811 or visit

Managing Your Asthma During The Pandemic

Flu Vaccination among Children with Current Asthma
  • Keep taking your controller medication daily or as prescribed. This will help cut your risk of an asthma attack being triggered by any respiratory virus, including COVID-19.
  • Carry your reliever inhaler with you every day, in case your asthma symptoms flare up.
  • Monitor your asthma symptoms closely and follow your Asthma Action Plan to help you recognize and manage asthma symptoms, and know when to seek advice from your healthcare provider or emergency help.
  • If you must travel, pack all asthma medications in your carry-on luggage so it is easily accessible. Pack extra asthma medication in case your travel plans change or are delayed. Be sure to check travel advice and advisories from the Government of Canadas website.
  • Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and fluids, and eat good nutritious food.
  • Ensure that you speak with your healthcare provider about recommended vaccinations. Getting both the influenza vaccination and pneumococcal disease vaccinationare important steps people with asthma can take to help stay healthy.
  • Reach out to Asthma Canadas Asthma & Allergy HelpLinecall-back service to connect with a Certified Respiratory Educator if you have questions about managing your asthma. Call 1-866-787-4050 or email

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Is The Flu Vaccine Safe For People With Asthma

Not only is the flu vaccine safe for people with asthma, it can be lifesaving. Asthma is a chronic disease where the airways are inflamed. Triggers, such as allergens, pollution and infections, can cause this inflammation.

The flu, also called influenza, is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Respiratory means this is an illness that affects your breathing. The flu by itself can make even the healthiest person very sick. It can also cause complications that can result in a hospital stay or even death. Examples of complications are:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Ear and sinus infections

Because people with asthma already have sensitive airways, this group has a higher chance of having serious flu complications and worse asthma symptoms.1 It is especially important that people with asthma, and those living with them, get the flu vaccine.2

While youre getting your flu vaccine, talk to your doctor about getting the pneumococcal vaccine too, if you havent already.3 Pneumococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection that can also be dangerous for people with asthma. This vaccine may help protect you against one of the most common flu complications.

Articles On Flu Concerns

If you have asthma, you should do all you can to stay healthy. With asthma, any respiratory infection, including the flu, can affect your lungs, causing inflammation and airway narrowing.

About 5% to 20% of Americans get the flu each year. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized, according to the CDC. And since the 1970s, between 3,000 and 49,000 people have died from the flu each year. This is largely due to other infections and complications that can occur when you have the flu, particularly pneumonia.

People with lung problems, including those with asthma, are at higher risk of respiratory problems associated with flu. A flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu and subsequent respiratory problems associated with it, including a worsening of asthma symptoms.

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If You Are Pregnant And Think You Have Flu

If you have flu symptoms, you should talk to your doctor urgently, because if you do have flu there is a prescribed medicine that might help , but it needs to be taken as soon as possible after the symptoms appear.

You can get the free flu vaccine from your GP, or it may also be available from your pharmacist or midwife.

Misconceptions About The Timing Of Seasonal Influenza Vaccination

Pharmacist, Anthony Tassone talks about flu vaccination for people with asthma

Should I wait to get vaccinated so that my immunity lasts through the end of the season?

How long you are immune or your duration of immunity is discussed in the ACIP recommendations. While delaying getting of vaccine until later in the fall may lead to higher levels of immunity during winter months, this should be balanced against possible risks, such as missed opportunities to receive vaccine and difficulties associated with vaccinating a large number of people within a shorter time period.

Is it too late to get vaccinated after Thanksgiving ?

No. Vaccination can still be beneficial as long as flu viruses are circulating. If you have not been vaccinated by Thanksgiving , it can still be protective to get vaccinated in December or later. Flu is unpredictable and seasons can vary. Seasonal flu disease usually peaks between December and March most years, but disease can occur as late as May.

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When To Seek Emergency Medical Care

Anyone experiencing any of the following emergency warning signs of flu sickness, including people with asthma, should seek medical attention right away.

People experiencing these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.

In children
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Ribs pulling in with each breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Dehydration
  • Not alert or interacting when awake
  • Seizures
  • In children less than 12 weeks, any fever
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions
In adults
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
  • Seizures
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

These lists are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.

Preparing For The Cold And Flu Season

The truth is, cold and flu are common triggers to asthmatic people, but you can play an active role in minimising the risk and the symptoms that follow.

The key to good asthma management is to make sure that you’re well-prepared for the flu and winter seasons.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

GP Asthma review

You should visit your GP every 6 to 12 months to make sure that your asthma medications are still adequate, as conditions may change over time.

In an asthma review, your doctor will do the following:

– Check your Asthma Action Plan

Daily use of your preventer

Preventers work extremely well when you use them everyday because they reduce airway inflammation, making them less sensitive and therefore, reducing severity.

Less severe symptoms means you’ll be able to better control your condition and lessen the likelihood of flare-ups from happening.

Credit to Asthma Australia. Make a donation by clicking here

Do you have an Asthma Action Plan?

An Asthma Action Plan is something you should plan with your doctor in order to get clear instructions on what to do during flare-ups.

Moreover, part of the program should explain how you can manage asthma whenever you have the flu or a cold.

– Better control over your asthma condition

– Less use of reliever medication

Get your Flu Vaccination – Don’t Risk it!

Prevent the complications of dealing with both asthma and flu by getting your annual flu vaccine.

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Should I Keep Taking My Daily Asthma Controller Medications Before And After I Get The Vaccine

Yes. Its important to keep taking your regular asthma controller medications, Grayson says. ACAAI notes that there is no contraindication for any OTC or prescription allergy or asthma medicine and getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have questions or concerns about your medications and receiving the vaccine, talk to your doctor, Stukus says.

Can The Flu Shot Vaccine Make Me Sick With The Flu

Australians urged to get their flu vaccination early ...

No. Its not possible for the flu shot vaccine to make you sick because the viruses in the shot are inactivated . This means they are not infectious.4

If you get sick after getting the flu vaccine, here are a few possible reasons why:

  • You may have caught another virus going around. During flu season, people are spreading other illnesses too. Some of these viruses may have similar symptoms to the flu.
  • You might have caught the flu right before you got the vaccine. This means the vaccine would not have had time to take effect. It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to start to work. Thats why its best to get it as soon as possible before flu season begins.
  • You might have caught a strain of flu that isnt in the current vaccine. Experts pick the top three or four flu strains they think will be the most common for each season. These go into the flu vaccine. Other strains might still get passed around. But even if you catch another strain of flu, the flu shot can still help you. Some studies have shown that it can still make the flu less severe.6
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    Things You Need To Know About Asthma And Flu

    Having asthma can make flu symptoms worse. Find out how to protect yourself, including which flu vaccine is best.

    If you have asthma and the flu, you can get very sick. Asthma doesn’t create a high risk for flu, but it can make the flu worse if you get it. “People with asthma already have sensitive airways, so a respiratory virus like the flu can trigger more severe coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath,” says Sumita Khatri, MD, co-director of the asthma center at the Cleveland Clinic. Asthma and the flu are nothing to sneeze at here are seven tips to help safeguard your health.

    Although I Am Not Allergic To Egg I Developed A Generalized Reaction To The Flu Vaccine Last Year And Therefore Should Not Receive Any More Flu Vaccinations

    An allergy to egg must be distinguished from an allergy to the influenza vaccine. A prior severe allergic reaction to the influenza vaccine, regardless of the components suspected to be responsible for the reaction, is a contraindication to receiving a future influenza vaccine. An evaluation by an allergist is recommended, as some flu vaccine components triggering reactions are also present in other vaccines and can be identified.

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    Connections Between Influenza And Asthma

    Do you know the link between influenza and asthma? Below, find out how you can help improve flu outcomes for people with asthma.

    What is asthma?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that25 million people in the United States live with asthma. People diagnosed with asthma experience wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and/or coughing at night or early in the morning. Asthma can affect both children and adults and can be diagnosed at any age.

    What happens if I have asthma and get sick with flu?

    Flu and asthma are both respiratory conditions that affect an individuals lungs. People with asthma are at greater risk of experiencing flu-related complications because their airways are already compromised, so the inflammation caused by flu symptoms can make their asthma worse. They could experience:

    • asthma attacks or a worsening of their lung disease
    • progressive loss of lung function
    • complications such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases
    • hospitalization

    How asthma can lead to flu hospitalizations: Nate Gorensteins story

    Read more about Nates flu and asthma experiencehere.

    How can I prevent flu complications from asthma?

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    Common Emergency Flu Symptoms

    Flu Shot ‘Egg’cellent for Most

    Some signs and symptoms need emergency medical care right away. Call 911 if you or your child has these symptoms.

    For children, emergency symptoms include:

    • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
    • Cyanosis which is tissue color changes on mucus membranes and fingertips or nail beds – the color appears grayish or whitish on darker skin tones and bluish on lighter skin tones
    • Not waking up or not conscious
    • Being irritable and difficult to comfort
    • Flu-like symptoms seem to improve but return with worse fever and cough
    • Fever with a rash

    For adults, emergency symptoms include:

    • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
    • Pain in the chest or abdomen
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Severe or persistent vomiting

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    What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu And Asthma

    Call your doctor if you experience flu or asthma attack symptoms, including:

    • Increased shortness of breath or wheezing
    • Coughing up increased amounts of mucus
    • Yellow- or green-colored mucus
    • Fever or chills
    • Extreme tiredness or generalized muscle aches
    • Sore throat, scratchy throat, or pain when swallowing
    • Sinus drainage, nasal congestion, headache, or tenderness along your upper cheekbones

    Call 911 if you are having trouble breathing.

    Misconceptions About Stomach Flu

    Is the stomach flu really flu?

    No. Many people use the term stomach flu to describe illnesses with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms can be caused by many different viruses, bacteria or even parasites. While vomiting, diarrhea, and being nauseous or sick to your stomach can sometimes be related to flu more commonly in children than adults these problems are rarely the main symptoms of influenza. Flu is a respiratory disease and not a stomach or intestinal disease.

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    Vaccine Distribution In Canada

    As part of the Canadian Thoracic Societys COVID-19 Respiratory Roundtable panel representing Canadians living with lung disease, Asthma Canada signed a joint statement titled Prioritization of Canadians with Lung Disease in COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout. Alongside other lung health organizations, Asthma Canada is urging federal, provincial and territorial governments to prioritize people living with lung disease who are at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 complications in the vaccination rollout. From Canadians living with a lung disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and pre- and post-lung transplant, there is widespread concern regarding when in the vaccine rollout in the provinces and territories they will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine.

    We will continue to advocate for our community on this subject and will share more information as it becomes available.

    Read the full statement here:English | French

    People With Asthma Shouldnt Get The Flu Shot

    Australians urged to get their flu vaccination early ...

    Seides says this myth is based on the misconception that the flu vaccine will cause asthma to flare up. However, he says theres no evidence to support this claim.

    If you have asthma, you absolutely need the flu vaccine more than the average person, because people with asthma and other chronic lung disease, such as emphysema, can have a very severe course with influenza that is rather exaggerated relative to someone who has otherwise healthy lungs, Seides said.

    Cheryl Nickerson, a respiratory specialist and clinical product manager at Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care, agrees. She says the only people who shouldnt get the flu shot are those whove had a severe allergic reaction to the shot in the past that was diagnosed by a doctor.

    Some people think theyve had a reaction to the flu shot, but it was something else that coincided at the same time. Unless a doctor told them specifically that they shouldnt get it, everyone with asthma should get the flu shot, Nickerson said.

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