You’ve probably been getting a flu shot since you were a child–for many as young as 6 months old. Today, that’s the age the CDC recommends children begin getting the annual vaccine. Not much changed about the vaccine you’ve been getting for ages until the flu begin to morph into different strains, requiring different vaccines. In 2012 the development of a quadrivalent vaccine was released, and the 2018 egg-free version is out today. AFC Urgent Care Danbury is here to help you navigate the differences between all of this year’s flu vaccines, and determine which is right for you and your family members.
Why should I get this year’s flu vaccine, and when should I get it?
Last year’s flu epidemic was the worst in many years, and reports showed that there was a strong correlation between individuals who did not receive a flu shot, and those who got extremely ill or died. This was even more so the case among children, as 80% of the deaths due to flu were found in those who skipped their flu vaccines.
“The 2017-18 season was the first season to be classified as a high severity across all age groups. The influenza-like-illness activity sky rocketed in November, reached an extended period of high activity during January and February nationally, and remained elevated through the end of March,” the CDC reported. This is why the CDC is strongly encouraging everyone to get their flu vaccines no later than the end of October!
Additionally, this season healthcare providers will provide vaccines in various ways, such as standard dose flu shots given via needle or, for some individuals ages 18-64, two varieties, Afluria and Afluria Quadrivalent, which can be delivered via jet injector, a medical device that uses a high-pressure, narrow stream of fluid to penetrate the skin instead of a hypodermic needle.
What’s different about this year’s flu vaccines?
- Flu vaccines have been updated to better match currently circulating viruses. The B/Victoria component was changed and the influenza A(H3N2) component was updated.
- All LAIV vaccines will be quadrivalent, designed to protect against four different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Most regular-dose egg-based flu shots will be quadrivalent.
- For the 2018-2019 season, the nasal spray flu vaccine — or live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV, often a go-to option for young children who hate shots — starting at 2 years of age, is recommended and available on a limited basis. Call us for eligibility and supply
- Cell-grown flu vaccine will be quadrivalent. For this flu vaccine, the virus A(H3N2) and both influenza B reference viruses will be cell-derived, and the influenza A(H1N1) will be egg-derived.
- The age recommendation for Fluarix Equivalent, which uses mammalian culture rather than chicken embryos, was changed from 3 years old and older to 6 months and older.
- The age recommendation for Afluria Quadrivalent, an inactivated influenza vaccicine, was changed from 18 years and older to 5 years and older.
Remember: When you get flu vaccines, you are not only protecting yourself against illness, but you are protecting everyone around you.
Come on in Today!
At AFC Urgent Care Danbury you can walk right in, no appointment necessary, to any of our Danbury walk-in clinics. We are located at 2 Main Street, 100 Mill Plain Road, and 76c Newtown Road. All our locations are open 7 days a week and ready to treat you. You can save time by checking in online and we accept most insurances.