Health Watch

Flu shots and Flu Mist are now available at FMA!  Call today for your vaccine!

Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?  Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.  During a regular flu season, about 90% of deaths occur in people 65 years and older.  The "seasonal flu season" in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.  A yearly flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others.  When more people are vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread throughout our community.

How do flu vaccines work?  Flu vaccines (the flu shot and the nasal-spray) cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination.  These antibodies provide protectionn against infection with teh viruses that are in the vaccine.   The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that commonly circulate amont people today:  influenza B, influenza A (H1N1), and influenza A (H3N2) viruses.

What kind of vaccines are available?  The "flu shot" is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm.  The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 moths, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.  There are three different flu shots available:

  • a regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and up
  • a high-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older
  • an intradermal flu shot approved for people 18 - 64 yrs

The nasal-spray flu vaccine is a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that is given as a nasal spray (sometimes called LAIV for 'live attenuated influenza vaccine").  The viruses inthe nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu.  LAIV is approved for use in health people ages 2 - 49 who are not pregnant.

Who should get the Flu Vaccine?  Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season.  It's especially important for some people to get vaccinated.  Those people include the following:

  • People who have medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications such as:  hosehold contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

Who should NOT be vaccinated?  There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician.  These include:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccine
  • Children younger than 6 months of age
  • People who hae a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated)