Flu Shot Ineffective Against Common Cold

Flu Shot Ineffective Against Common ColdFlu Shot Ineffective Against Common Cold

As the time for injection of influenza vaccines approaches, the chief biologist at the Food and Drug administration says the vaccines target specific influenza strains and are useless against the common cold.

“Common flu strains in Iran comprise B, H1N1, and H2N3, with H1N1 the strongest and most virulent,” ILNA quoted Ali Vashaqani Farahani as saying.

He said the vaccines immunize the body only against the aforementioned influenza subtypes, adding that the vaccines that are administered at authorized centers nationwide have no precedence over each other.

“One isn’t better than the other; each one targets a specific strain and all need to be administered,” he said.

Flu vaccines are not necessary for everyone and only high-risk individuals suffering from medical conditions, such as those with deficient immune systems, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and asthma, as well as expecting mothers (subject to their physician’s approval) should receive flu shots.

The side effects of the vaccine can be allergy, fever, severe chills, swelling and redness in the body where the injection is administered.

Farahani said the best time to get vaccinated is between August 23 and September 23.

Storage and handling practices of vaccines are important because if the process is not carried out properly, the vaccine will not be viable and go to waste.

Influenza vaccine must be stored in the refrigerator at 2°C to 8°C. It should not be exposed to freezing temperatures.  Although handling of the vaccine may sound difficult if used immediately after buying, the people need not worry, he said.” To move the vaccine it better be put next to dry ice.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

Officials say a sufficient amount of flu vaccine has been imported and the country will not face a shortage this year.

Vaccines are available at reasonable prices (260,000 rials or $6) in all drugstores. Since 2015, seasonal flu vaccine is imported from Russia.


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