Articles, Blog

The flu vaccine: explained

October 19, 2019


Influenza, or simply the flu, is caused by
influenza virus. Almost everyone has had the flu at some point—high
fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headaches, coughing, sneezing, and feeling
tired—it’s terrible. Good news is that it usually improves in a
week, but occasionally someone can go from being completely healthy to being seriously
ill—requiring hospitalization or even care in the ICU. The flu spreads when a sick person sneezes
or coughs, and sends thousands of virus-containing droplets into the local area. If they’re lucky, these viruses might land
directly on another person’s nose or mouth, but more often they end up landing on nearby
objects like a table. But the flu virus is hardy—and it can survive
for hours in the environment. To make matters worse, a person may be contagious
a day before their symptoms even begin, and up to two weeks afterwards—even after they
feel much better! So, while it’s great that Debbie is back
to work this week after recovering from the flu. It’s not so great that Debbie brought contaminated
doughnuts to share. Thanks Debbie! OK, so if you don’t want to feel like garbage
with the flu for a week, or get your friends, family and coworkers sick, the most effective
way to prevent influenza is through vaccination, which can be done as an injection or nasal
spray. These vaccines usually contain a mix of three
weakened or inactivated influenza virus strains that are predicted to be the ones that will
dominate for a specific season. And because flu viruses mutate rapidly these
vaccines are updated twice a year. So how well do they work? Well it depends. First, high-risk individuals like pregnant
women, those with a chronic health condition, or those under 6 months or over 65 years of
age—are more susceptible to the flu despite being vaccinated. Second, since the vaccine is based on predictions,
some years are better than others. On average, though, the flu vaccine reduces
the risk of illness by roughly half from about 10% to about 5% in terms of the likelihood
of getting sick over the entire flu season. That means that the average person may get
the flu about one out of every 10 years without the vaccine and about one out of every 20
years with the vaccine. So, for any given year, you might decide that
your risk of getting the flu is quite low anyways so it’s not worth getting the vaccine. But remember, the flu can do more than make
you feel terrible, the flu can cause serious injury—even death. Also, it’s worth remembering that in the
2016 – 2017 flu season in the US—the most recent one where we have complete data—the
CDC estimates that the flu vaccine prevented 5.3 million cases of flu, 2.6 million medical
visits and 85,000 hospilizations! Getting vaccinated also decreases your chances
of you passing the flu to someone else, like Debbie with her contaminated doughnuts. Therefore, the more people in a community
that are vaccinated against flu, the fewer people will contract and spread the flu. This protects those that can’t get vaccinated
like infants under 6 months old. This is called herd immunity, because the
herd is protecting the weakest members. To wrap up, of course, yearly flu vaccine
is recommended for everyone over six months old, with only a few exceptions. It’s not recommended for people with life
threatening egg allergies or a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Otherwise, since flu season generally begins
in the fall and peaks in the winter, it’s a good idea to get vaccinated by the end of
October if you live in the Northern hemisphere. That said, the vaccine still provides protection
even if you get it later in the season—so don’t let it being past Halloween or even
Thanksgiving be an excuse for not getting vaccinated. If you’d like to learn more about the flu,
check out our Influenza video on Osmosis.org.

37 Comments

  • Reply Muslm Alaa October 31, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you.. .. You are the best

  • Reply K K October 31, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Sadly Pharmaceutical companies are the script writer's of med school curriculum.

  • Reply Cameron Alexander October 31, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    The more donuts you can eat… I think…

  • Reply layal mounem October 31, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    You are always amazing ♡

  • Reply Amjad Sayeed October 31, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Superb ???

  • Reply Asari Kije October 31, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Can you do something about flu shots and development of peanut butter or other nut allergies!?

  • Reply Legendaryboy98 October 31, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    "BuT VacCinEs CauSe aUTism"

  • Reply Am13ica K3l October 31, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Your videos keep me interested in medicine.

  • Reply PH October 31, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    has no one considered that by giving millions of people weakened virii you are actually increasing the probability of new mutations, which would then require more vaccines.. and who profits from that?

  • Reply Dr Dyar October 31, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I have egg allergy ( feels bad )

  • Reply geph c October 31, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks Debbie.

  • Reply Dumb Genious November 1, 2018 at 12:23 am

    Goddammit Debby

  • Reply Hi November 1, 2018 at 12:28 am

    Vaccines cause A u T i S m

  • Reply yisus of lare November 1, 2018 at 10:18 am

    could you make a series of videos providing information on vaccines? nowadays theyre needed more than ever, and your videos are so user freindly and wonderfully explained and well researched that they could really make a diference

  • Reply Katy Hayward November 1, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Got my flu jab at the beginning of October, week an half later I caught the flu. It can take up 2 weeks to take affect in your body, and in this case i was unlucky enough to catch it lol. Ending up developing into pneumonia too but despite this I would definitely recommend the flu jab!

  • Reply Emangelino November 2, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Great data, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Andrew F November 3, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    You forgot the bit about aluminium, mercury, viruses and dna from aborted foetuses in vaccines, not to mention the debilitating neurological diseases they cause such as ME, MS and autism.

  • Reply Joyne Freedom November 6, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    What is the likelihood that any person in the US with adequate nutrition, hygeine, housing, clean water, and social support would die of the flu without a vaccine? Less than one in 100 million.

  • Reply Andrew F November 11, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    US government has paid out $billions in compensation for disability, death and suffering caused by vaccines and the US Supreme Court ruled vaccines are unavoidably unsafe.

  • Reply SciK November 29, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    I’m allergic to eggs but I eat them everyday and nothing happened, maybe me eating the first time it gave me pain bu after a month I can eat eggs normally

  • Reply Jonathan Hughes February 4, 2019 at 5:32 am

    Don't do shots
    Use this: It is good Chiropractic. Upper Cervical Specific only Chiropractic. Upcspine, Nucca. Thespecific, Upper Cervical Health Centers. Wait 4 – 5 days after an accident. Be evaluated now to prevent future problems.

  • Reply Josh Gummett February 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Not sure if this has been brought up yet, but (at least in Canada) even an anaphylaxis reaction to eggs does not contraindicate the vaccine as there have been 0 cases of egg being hypersensitivity trigger due to the miniscule amount of egg protein left in the final product.

  • Reply Lan Ninh Pham April 19, 2019 at 3:05 am

    i read information from CDC , they said that children under 6 months influenza shot is an contraindication, is there something wrong in the information on video, please explain to me, thank you so much from Viet Nam

  • Reply Evelina Sjöberg June 6, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    I'm from Sweden and I never had a flu shot or even heard of it until I found some clips here on youtube. No I am not an antivaxxer btw. Is there anyone else?

  • Reply J H June 11, 2019 at 11:37 am

    You should mention it’s a multi-BILLION dollar industry and not commonly used in most of the world outside of the States. Also herd immunity only exists in stable populations with no influx from outside the group. The efficacy is never anything like 50% either. Research Del Bigtree on his YouTube channel The Highwire.

  • Reply chris georgallis July 18, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Notice how theres a vaccine for Everything?
    Soon it will be a vaccine for Aids A vaccine for cancer?
    Wake up humans , this is a atrack on humanity a crime.

  • Reply Ying Yang July 28, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Anyone that injects a flu vaccine into a baby, child or pregnant mother should be imprisoned – if there are adults out there stupid enough to do it to themselves, then that's their choice I guess

  • Reply Angel September 4, 2019 at 5:05 am

    My little one got the flu vaccine but got the flu any way .. ended up in the hospital for a week with influenza A h1n1 and pneumonia.

  • Reply Pauline CC September 28, 2019 at 4:27 am

    Great great thank you hun

  • Reply Pauline CC September 28, 2019 at 4:27 am

    Great great thank you hun

  • Reply Camille Bonoso September 29, 2019 at 12:55 am

    Sana, meron na rin oral vaccine. Ayoko kasi ng injection. ?

  • Reply ACADIA October 5, 2019 at 5:46 am

    They forgot to mention it kills your insides and you, slowly

  • Reply Lou Nettle Garden October 14, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Would be nice if you provided references for the information contained within the video.

  • Reply Michael Wightman October 15, 2019 at 12:31 am

    When getting your flu shots remember to ask WITHOUT mercury!

  • Reply oopalonga October 15, 2019 at 1:12 am

    there is so much false "information" in this it's incredible (pun intended) and hard to watch. i'm a hUGE fan of osmosis, but u guys straight fucked this up. and i'm pretty sure herd immunity hasn't been established whatsoever w/ vaccines–I think herd immunity ONLY applies to those who have received immunity naturally. would LOVE to see some sources here boys.

  • Reply NeedlessTv Official October 17, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Got a jab for this earlier today

  • Reply TrainerAQ October 18, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    I was planning on getting the shot but I got the flu Oct 11th. By the 13th I knew I had to call in sick. The 14th was horrible, but I picked myself up and got to the doctor (I found out I had Flu A). She gave me Tamiflu and everyday after that was an improvement. By the 17th I was able to work but I could still feel it. By the 18th I feel alright, still have some symptoms though!

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