Your Annual Flu Vaccine – It’s Not Too Late!

In Blog, Infections, Preventative/Primary Care, Women's Health Topics by Dr. Gary Goldman

It’s time for your annual flu vaccine! The vaccine is given each year, as the particular strains of circulating flu constantly change. This year’s vaccine is now available, and YOU should get one.

There are many types of vaccine. The Hi-Dose vaccine is recommended for those 65 and older. The nasal spray is recommended for children between the ages of 2-8. Most of us will get the inactivated trivalent vaccine from multi-dose vials. This is dead viral particles that cannot transmit illness. It protects against 3 flu strains, and is packaged with small amounts of thimerosal preservative, which contains mercury.

In my office, we exclusively give the inactivated quadrivalent single-dose vaccine. This also contains dead viral particles, which cannot transmit disease. However, it not only protects against 4 strains of flu, it is also packaged without any thimerosal. This is recommended for pregnant women, as the fetal brain is especially susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of mercury. It is also ideal for anyone else.

While the CDC recommends the vaccine for everyone 6 months and older (but for some rare exceptions), there are several groups at ‘high risk’ for whom it is most strongly recommended. This includes:
◦ People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
◦ Pregnant women.
◦ People younger than 5 years (and especially those younger than 2), and people 65 years and older.
• People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications (see list above).
◦ Household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
◦ Household contacts and caregivers of infants younger than 6 months old.
◦ Healthcare personnel.

Why do you need the vaccine? Not only is the flu an awful two-week long illness where you pray for relief daily – it can also be deadly. Flu-related death rates average about 30,000 Americans each year. Pregnant women infected with the flu have a six-fold higher death rate than similarly aged non-pregnant women!

Flu season begins in October and ends in May. It takes two weeks after you get you vaccine until you begin to have immunity. Get your vaccine now!

Read more about the flu vaccine here:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm