Every year, new flu vaccines are created and released to keep up with continually adapting flu viruses. These flu viruses have such rapid evolution that a vaccine from last year may not be able to protect against a virus this year. Once vaccinated, the immune system will react by producing antibodies, protecting the patient from viruses.
It’s quite possible to catch the season’s flu strain if the vaccine is not received yearly. Influenza can leave patients sick in bed for a week or worse, wind up hospitalized. Influenza circulates on a worldwide scale and can affect anyone. Each year, thousands of people die from complications brought on by the flu.
Learn more information about precisely why getting the flu vaccine each year is highly recommended.
Viruses Vary Year to Year
As stated, the flu shot patients received one year may not have the ability to protect from the flu next year, because the virus changes over time. There are two different types of changes or shifts. The Antigenic ‘drift’ is a slow change. It can occur when the immune system doesn’t recognize the flu virus from one year to the next.
Influenza virus’s research can nearly always successfully pinpoint the most likely illnesses that will come up during flu season. The vaccines are updated yearly based on the influenza viruses responsible for making people sick. The research is a joined effort between one hundred countries and involves testing thousands of virus samples. Patients are protected against the season’s most common flu virus strains when they receive yearly vaccines.