Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best available way to protect yourself and your family from flu and its potentially serious complications. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Flu vaccine also has been shown to significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain long-term health problems who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.

For the 2018-2019 flu 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].
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or “LAIV”) is again a recommended option for influenza vaccination for people for whom it is otherwise appropriate.

What flu vaccines are recommended this season? For the 2018-2019 flu season flu vaccine, providers may choose to administer any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine including inactivated influenza vaccine or “IIV,” recombinant influenza vaccine or “RIV4”, or the nasal spray vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or “LAIV”).

Options this season include:

Standard dose flu shots. Most are given into the muscle, usually with a needle, but two can be given to some people with a jet injector. (*Note that no intradermal flu vaccine will be available during 2018-2019).

A high-dose shot for people 65 and older.

A shot made with adjuvant for people 65 and older. • A shot made with virus grown in cell culture.

A shot made using a vaccine productiontechnology (recombinant vaccine) that does not require the use of flu virus or eggs.

Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) – or the nasal spray vaccine – is also an option for use in otherwise healthy  persons 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant. (Note that there is a precaution against the use of LAIV for people with certain underlying medical conditions.)

Get your flu shot at a Healthy Connections location today.

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