Now that we’re in flu season there’s a lot of media attention about getting a flu shot.
I was speaking with a friend who mentioned that he recently got a flu shot. I asked if he had gotten the senior flu shot. His response was that he didn’t know there was such a thing. I said it’s a shot for people 65 and over.
When it comes to flu shots, it’s not one-size fits all. The type of flu vaccine given is determined by 3 factors:
- Medical conditions
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot every year, with few exceptions. Speak to your pharmacist or doctor, they can advise which type is the right choice is for you.
Let’s take a look at the available choices.
Standard-Dose Flu Vaccine
This is the standard flu shot given with a needle, available for individuals 6 months– 64 years old. As an alternative, you may receive the flu vaccination by Jet Injector which is a medical device used to deliver the shot without the use of a needle.
Senior Shot Flu Vaccine
This provides additional protection for people 65 years and over. There are 2 options:
- High Dose Vaccine – is four times as strong as the standard flu shot
- Adjuvanted Vaccine – has an extra ingredient that boosts the immune response.
Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
Available for individuals 2-49 years old. The nasal spray is given as two sprays, one in each nostril.
Egg-Free Flu vaccine
This offers protection for patients who are allergic to eggs. There are 2 options:
- Cell-based – available for individuals 4 years and older. Animal cells are used to grow the flu virus instead of eggs.
- Recombinant Technology – 18 years and older-uses DNA technology.
All four types of flu vaccines are quadrivalent, meaning they protect against 4 influenza virus strains.
The strains of flu viruses differ from year to year, so it’s important to get vaccinated every year. And, with everything going on with Covid-19, getting a flu shot could be the best gift you give yourself this holiday season. Talk to your pharmacist or health care provider so you can decide together what would be the best choice for you.
TIP OF DAY: It takes two 2 weeks after getting the shot for your body to produce enough antibodies that can protect you from the flu virus. Continue to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.