What is Influenza
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent 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.
During this time, flu viruses are circulating in the population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
How do flu vaccines work?
Flu vaccines, the flu shot and the nasal-spray flu vaccine (LAIV), cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Three kinds of influenza viruses commonly circulate among people today: influenza B viruses, influenza A (H1N1) viruses, and influenza A (H3N2) viruses. Each year, one flu virus of each kind is used to produce seasonal influenza vaccine.
- Flu Mist—Intranasal for ages 3 to 64 years who DO NOT have asthma or respiratory disease
- Pediatric Fluzone Influenza Vaccination Preservative Free-—For ages 6 to 36 months
- Fluzone Vaccination (not preservative free)—For 3 to 64 years
- High Dose Influenza Vaccination—For ages 65 and older
Vaccines given by appointment only. Please note if you have an appointment scheduled with your physician, you may receive your vaccine at your appointment.
Who Should Be Vaccinated
People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This includes:
- Pregnant women
- People 65 years and older
People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications. This includes:
- household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
If you have or have a history of any of the following conditions you should not receive an influenza vaccination. Please talk to your physician regarding your options.
- People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination
- Children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group)
- People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated)
- People with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.