ALL ABOUT FLU SHOTS
By Helen Zhang, Beijing United Family Hospital
long with the cold winter winds, the flu season
has arrived. You may remember that last year’s
flu season was particularly bad, sweeping
through Asia at alarming rates. The flu isn’t
just a little cold – it’s a far more serious disease. Here
to answer your questions about the flu vaccine is UFH
Pharmacist Helen Zhang.
The quadrivalent vaccine will contain the above strains
plus a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (Yamagata
lineage), which was also in circulation last year.
Compared with the 2017-18 season, the composition
for 2018-19 represents changes in the A (H3N2) and
B (Victoria) components of both the trivalent and
3. When I’m vaccinated, will I be completely safe
from the flu?
In general, the flu vaccine can protect the majority
of people from contracting the flu. However, you may
not be 100% safe. Nevertheless, if you do still get the
flu after being vaccinated, you will have a less severe
flu. It’s also important to note that flu vaccines do not
protect you from other viruses like those that cause the
1. Why is getting a flu shot recommended?
Getting vaccinated is a very effective way to prevent
the flu. Researchers all over the world and long-term
vaccination programs have demonstrated that vaccines
significantly lower your risk of contracting the flu and
thus suffering from influenza-related complications. If
you get vaccinated, you are also less likely to spread
the flu to others. Immunity develops two weeks after
inoculation and usually lasts for a year.
2. What medicines are in this year’s flu shot?
Every year, WHO makes a recommendation for flu
vaccinations based on predictions of which flu strains
will be in circulation that season. This year, there will
be trivalent and quadrivalent flu vaccines. The trivalent
one will contain:
• an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09–like virus;
• an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2) –like
• a B/Colorado/06/2017–like virus (Victoria lineage).
Ivy Schools Fall/Winter Edition 2018