Flu vaccine recommendations change from year to year. Here's this year's summary:
- Everyone over 6 months should get a flu vaccine. This includes children, teens, adults, pregnant women, the elderly, and most people with chronic diseases.
- The vaccine can be used as soon as it is available. (Note: the elderly might benefit from waiting until October due to potentially shorter duration of protection.) Preferably vaccination will happen by November, but vaccination can be done any time the vaccine is available. Illness from influenza can occur at any time in the year, but is most common in the winter and early spring, so vaccinating throughout the season is appropriate if it has not already been done.
- The nasal spray is not recommended this year.
- People with egg allergies can get the flu vaccine and don't have to be monitored for 30 minutes afterwards unless they have a history of severe reactions to egg (not just hives). The amounts of egg protein in the flu vaccines are so low that an allergic reaction is not likely.
- Kids under 9 years of age who have previously received two or more total doses of any influenza vaccine only need one dose of flu vaccine this season. The big difference from previous recommendations is that the two doses don't need to have been given during the same season or even in consecutive seasons - any two flu vaccines count.
- Different brands of flu vaccine are approved for use in various age groups, but they all include the same strains of viruses. This year’s strains are:
o A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
o A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
o B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Victoria lineage)
o B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage) (quadrivalent vaccines only)
The flu shot is not going to give you the flu.
|I got mine!|