Health & Wellness

Health Q & A with Jeannie Marr – Should I get a flu shot?

Q: Why should I get a flu shot?
A: An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu, and decreases the chance that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu spreads through our community. The “seasonal flu season” in the U.S. is unpredictable and can begin as early as October and last as long as May. It is best to get vaccinated well before the flu season begins to in order to be protected. At Creswell Health Mart Pharmacy, we now have this season’s flu vaccine in stock and would be happy to help protect anyone age seven years old and older against the flu. We bill most all insurance policies and NO appointment is necessary.
Q: What’s new this flu season?
A: A few things are new this season:
Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses [the B/Victoria component was changed and the influenza A(H3N2) component was updated].
For the 2018-2019 season, the nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or “LAIV”) is again a recommended option for influenza vaccination of persons for whom it is otherwise appropriate. The nasal spray is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals, two years through 49 years of age. There is a precaution against the use of LAIV for people with certain underlying medical conditions. All LAIV will be quadrivalent (four-component).
Most regular-dose egg-based flu shots will be quadrivalent.
All recombinant vaccine will be quadrivalent. (No trivalent recombinant vaccine will be available this season.)
Cell-grown flu vaccine will be quadrivalent. For this vaccine, the influenza A(H3N2) and both influenza B reference viruses will be cell-derived, and the influenza A(H1N1) will be egg-derived. All these reference viruses will be grown in cells to produce the components of Flucelvax.
No intradermal flu vaccine will be available.
The age recommendation for “Fluarix Quadrivalent” was changed from three years old and older to six months and older after the annual recommendations were published last season to be consistent with Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved labeling.
The age recommendation for Afluria Quadrivalent was changed from 18 years old and older to five years old and older after the annual recommendations were published last season to be consistent with Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved labeling.
Q: When should I get vaccinated?
A: You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season, even into January or later.



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