Be Prepared for Flu Season

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Flu season occurs in the fall and winter in the United States. The pinnacle of flu season can occur between November and late March. That means you should protect yourself from getting sick since we are in the middle of flu season.

The CDC recommends a yearly vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. The nasal spray vaccine should not be used this 2017-2018 flu season but there are two other shot vaccines available to use. A trivalent (three component) vaccine is manufactured using virus grown in eggs and  includes a standard dose shot is approved for people 18-64 years of age. A high dose trivalent shot is approved for people aged 65 and older. There is a shot for people 18 years older and is egg free, which makes it available for pregnant women to use.

The other flu shot is called a quadrivalent vaccine. It is approved for use in different age groups, including children as young as 6 months. It contains a virus grown in a cell culture, which is approved for people 4 years and older. An intradermal quadrivalent flu shot is approved for people aged 18-64 which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle because of the smaller needle. Lastly, there is the recombinant quadrivalent flu shot. It is approved for people 18 and older, including pregnant women.

During flu season, Try to avoid the virus by avoiding people who are sick. Also, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Make sure you wash your hands frequently.  If you do do contract the flu virus, use antiviral drugs that your doctor prescribed for you. Many doctors will advise you to avoid contact with people and stay home for at least 24 hours after you break your fever.

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