What is the Influenza Vaccine?

The influenza vaccine, commonly known as the flu shot, is an annual vaccination that provides protection against the influenza viruses expected to be prevalent during the upcoming flu season. It stimulates the body’s immune response to prepare for and fight off the actual virus should exposure occur.

Benefits of Influenza Vaccination

Receiving the flu vaccine can significantly reduce your risk of contracting the flu. Even if you do get infected, the vaccine can lessen the severity and duration of symptoms. It also contributes to community immunity, protecting those who are more vulnerable to serious flu-related complications.

Who Should Get the Flu Vaccination?

The flu vaccination is recommended for nearly everyone, especially for those who are at higher risk of developing serious complications from the influenza virus. According to health authorities, the following groups should prioritize getting the flu vaccine:

What is the recommended vaccine composition for this season (October 2023 – April 2024)?

The following is the recommended vaccine composition for 2023-24 NH influenza season, i.e. October 2023 to April 2024:

Egg-based Vaccines

How about May 2024 to Sep 2024, any change in strains?

For 2024 SH influenza season:

The composition of 2024 SH seasonal influenza vaccine is different from the 2023-24 NH seasonal influenza vaccine. The A/Thailand/8/2022-like virus will replace A/Darwin/9/2021-like virus for egg-based production.

Conclusion

The World Health Organization (WHO) and local health authorities, like the Ministry of Health in Singapore, provide updates and guidelines to medical providers on who should receive the flu vaccine each year and whether is there changes to the flu strains. It’s always wise to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice and the best course of action regarding flu vaccinations.

Resources:

  1. Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2023-2024 northern hemisphere influenza season. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/recommended-composition-of-influenza-virus-vaccines-for-use-in-the-2023-2024-northern-hemisphere-influenza-season
  2. Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2024 southern hemisphere influenza season. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/recommended-composition-of-influenza-virus-vaccines-for-use-in-the-2024-southern-hemisphere-influenza-season

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