A new study published in the journal Vaccine found that the flu jab reduces the risk of having a first stroke by around a fifth in the first 59 days after receiving it.

The first week after the jab showed a 36 percent reduction of strokes – compared to the expected cases among a “baseline” population- whereas the second week showed a 30 percent reduction. The third and fourth weeks, there were 24 percent fewer stroke cases, dropping to 17 percent between 29 days and 59 days after the shot. “This is a significant finding, and if confirmed in a clinical trial could be one that can change lives,” researcher Niro Siriwardena, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

The CDC expects 171 million to 179 million doses of flu vaccine to be available this flu season. Image: The Huffington Post

“Our findings support current recommendations for the flu vaccination in people at high risk, but with the added effect of stroke prevention. Our study demonstrated that the earlier the vaccination is delivered the greater the linked reduction in stroke risk, so this should also encourage early vaccination,” Siriwardena said.

To come to these findings, researchers examined almost 18,000 cases, which involved patients aged 18 or older who had suffered a first stroke between 2001 and 2009. To determine the link between the jab and a first stroke, they compared how many strokes occurred up to 180 days after exposure to the effects of the flu vaccine with other times when the person was not protected by the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot by the end of the month, according to Dr. Jason Schneider – an associate professor at Emory University’s School of Medicine.

Flu season just around the corner

Ahead of the 2015-2016 influenza season, the CDC has issued a report of which people should know. First of all, they stated that it is not predictable what this flu season will be like, since the timing, severity, and length varies every year.

On the other side, they informed about its patterns. In the United States, there are epidemics of seasonal flu each year during the winter, though flu outbreaks can happen as early as October and can last as late as May.

It begins with certain key flu indicators (for example, levels of influenza-like illness (ILI), hospitalization and deaths) which rise and remain elevated for consecutive weeks.

Source: Science Direct