Get Ready for Flu Season

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect you and your family from flu. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated by the end of October. Flu vaccines are updated to better match the circulating flu viruses each year. This is why it is so important to get your flu shot.  The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine every year. Flu vaccines are offered without an appointment in our pharmacy.

 

What is “the flu”?

The Flu is a short term for “influenza”.  Influenza viruses typically circulate in the United States annually, most commonly from late fall through early spring. Most persons who contract influenza recover without serious complications. However, influenza can result in serious illness, hospitalization, and death, particularly among older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and persons with certain chronic medical conditions. Influenza illness also is a leading cause of missed work and school. Routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons over six months old who do not have contraindications is recommended.

Did You Know?

• Fluad was the first adjuvanted influenza vaccine in the U.S. An adjuvant is a substance added to a vaccine to increase its immunogenicity. In contrast to Fluzone High-Dose, Fluad is a standard-dose vaccine, containing 15 mcg of hemagglutinin per virus per dose (total of 45 mcg). In a small observational study among adults age 65 years and older Fluad was about 63% more effective than unadjuvanted trivalent IIV.

• Fluzone High-Dose has changed its formulary and is now Quadrivalent which comes in a single-dose, prefilled syringe that contains a 0.7 mL volume of vaccine, which is 0.2 mL more than the 0.5 mL dose of Fluzone High-Dose (trivalent formulation). The entire 0.7 mL dose should be injected intramuscularly when administering Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent.

• ACIP has not stated a preference for Fluad, FluzoneHD, or Flublok over standard dose inactivate influenza vaccine for people age 65 years and older. Even if HD vaccine is not available, any product can be administered as the risk of missed vaccine out-weighs the increased immunity HD may provide.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That’s why it’s best to get vaccinated before influenza viruses start to spread in your community. Pharmacist should recommend patients get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even into January or later.

In recent years, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations among older adults on average by about 40%.  A 2018 study showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with flu by 82%.

Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Some people may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. Protect yourself and your family from the flu this year. It’s not too late to get a flu vaccine.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic let our trained pharmacy staff at Person Street take care of all your immunization needs.  No appointment needed and most insurance covers your cost!

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