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What's New with the Flu?

10-24-2016

Photo of flu vaccine bottle

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce episodes of illness, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

A few things are new this season:

  • Only injectable flu shots are recommended for 2016-2017. For the upcoming flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the flu shot (inactivated influence vaccine (IIV) and the recombinant influenza influenza (RIV)) be used exclusively. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated virus, or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017 because of concerns regarding its effectiveness.
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses and some protect against four flu viruses.

There are some new vaccines on the market this season. Options include:

  • Standard dose flu shots. Most are injected into the muscle; one is given into the skin.
  • A high-dose shot for older people.
  • A shot made with adjuvant for older people.
  • A shot made with virus grown in cell culture.
  • A shot made using a vaccine production technology (RIV) that does not require the use of flu virus.

The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed.

  • People who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg can get any licensed flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health.
  • People who have symptoms other than hives after exposure to eggs, or who have needed epinephrine or another emergency medical intervention, can also get any licensed flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health in a medical setting (hospital, clinic, health department, or doctor’s office) by a healthcare provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
  • People with egg allergies no longer have to wait 30 minutes after receiving their vaccine.

Talk to your primary care provider if you have any concerns about this year’s flu vaccine, or whether or not you should be vaccinated.

If you haven't gotten your flu vaccine yet, stop by one of our three convenient FMH Immediate Care locations in Frederick, Urbana, or Mt. Airy. No appointment is needed, and there is no wait time when getting your flu shot at FMH Immediate Care.



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