Flu season is getting closer. To try to avoid a high fever, severe aches and a nasty cough, get a flu shot! Since the flu virus is always evolving, scientists update the flu vaccine every year.
Major Changes to the Flu Shot in 2016
Only Injectable Shots Are Recommended
Over the past several flu seasons, the nasal spray vaccinations did not offer sufficient protection against the main strains of the influenza virus. Because of this, it is recommended that only shots are administered.
Vaccines are Updated to Better Fight Circulating Viruses
Researchers have identified three of the most potentially prevalent forms of the flu virus for late 2016 and early 2017. Most vaccines will offer protection against:
- (H1N1) – A/California/7/2009 virus
- (H3N2) – A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 virus
- (B/ Victoria Lineage) – B/Brisbane/60/2008 virus
Different Recommendations for Those with Egg Allergies
New recommendations state that egg allergy of any kind is unlikely to be a problem for those receiving flu vaccines. Please contact our office with questions.
Who Needs a Flu Shot?
Everyone over six months old should get a flu shot. But, it is especially important for certain groups to get the shot:
- Pregnant Women. Pregnant women are more susceptible to the flu because of changes to their immune system. Since serious illness can lead to hospitalization or even premature labor, it is important to get a flu shot. Both mom and baby receive the benefits of the vaccine. They are both protected even after delivery.
- Young Children. Even in healthy children, the unpredictable nature of the flu virus can cause serious illness. Approximately 77 children died from the flu last year, so it is recommended that children six months and older receive the vaccine. It should also be noted that children who are under five years old are especially susceptible.
- Older Adults. For those who are 65 or older, the immune system naturally weakens with age. This leaves seniors vulnerable to the effects of the flu virus. In fact, it is estimated that 71 to 85 percent of flu-related deaths occur in seniors.
In addition, anyone with the following conditions should receive a flu shot:
- Cystic Fibrosis
We have already started giving out this year’s flu shot. We will be announcing flu clinics shortly. We also have nurse visit appointments. Look for future announcements about scheduling a flu shot appointment.
Read our guide to the flu for tips on avoiding the flu, and what to do if you or your child gets it.