How Does the Flu Vaccine Work?

Flu shot clinics in Calgary and how the flu shot works

A flu shot is a type of vaccine that you need to receive each year when flu season inevitably emerges. But before you get yours this upcoming year, you might be wondering, what exactly is a flu shot? And how does it help prevent flu? CDC conducts studies to find out how effectively influenza or flu virus can shield against the flu. Although the VE or vaccine effectiveness tends to vary, recent reports show that the flu vaccine brings down the risk of illness by around 40 to 60 percent during the peak seasons of flu virus circulation.

Find out all the information you need to know before receiving your flu vaccine, including how it works, what mechanisms are involved, and its importance. 

What’s the mechanism of the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine works by reviving a weakened or deactivated version of the influenza virus so that the body is trained to recognize the antigen protein present on the virus surface. As a result, the immune system is triggered to develop antibodies for combating the flu. This, in turn, creates a certain degree of immunity to help you come around when you face the real virus ever.

Once you receive your vaccine from any flu shot clinics in Calgary, it can take around two weeks to gain efficacy. This is the reason why experts suggest that you should get the vaccine during autumn, even before the flu season arrives. This brings the concern of what would happen if it’s already late autumn and you haven’t yet got your flu vaccine. Flu vaccines can be taken through March, and it’s better late than never when it comes to protecting the health of the individual as well as the community at large.

What goes into a flu vaccine?

Every year, health experts and researchers examine the strains of the flu virus that are going to be the most prevalent in the coming season, and the flu shot clinics in Calgary design the vaccine accordingly. Most common flu shots shield against the four variants of the virus, including the H1N1 and H3N2, classed as the influenza A virus and two influenza B viruses.

Typically, the shots are created from inactivated viruses indicating that the particles are developed in a culture and are devoid of the ability to trigger symptoms. Sometimes, the vaccine is also created from a recombinant virus that is artificially crafted. Therefore, it cannot cause any disease or reproduce.

The third option for creating flu shots is using living but weak viruses used for nasal spray vaccines. According to the experts, each of these versions is equally effective although the live virus is not given to people with a compromised immune system, certain medical conditions, and pregnant women.

What influences the effectiveness of the flu shot?

How well a flu shot is going to work can vary from one season to another. And the level of protection will also vary based on who is taking the shot. The two most significant factors in this regard are the traits of the person taking the shot and the level to which the vaccine matches the flu virus that’s spread across the community. In case there is no match between the flu virus spreading in the community and the flu shot being taken, then it will offer little to no protection against diseases.

Springborough Pharmasave is your health professionals committed to serving the Springborough community. Our pharmacy in SW Calgary will provide you with all the important services you need for your health, including healthcare advice and medical products. All our programs and services will be tailored to the needs of our consumers. We offer vaccinations, flu shots, breast pump rentals, and can act as your travel clinic in Calgary. Giving back to the community is a core value at Pharmasave, and we are proud of our work to help the Springborough community. Visit us at 104-30 Springborough Blvd, Southwest Calgary or call us on (403) 453-6113.   

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