So what’s up with the flu vaccine this year?

Oct 1, 2010

We are now into our second year of the CDC recommendation to vaccinate ALL patients 6 months of age and older. The flu is NOT just a bad cold. It can result in serious complications in children, especially under age 5. As doctors, our priorities will continue to be to first reach the youngest and the most vulnerable children and their families. Infants, as well as older kids with asthma, diabetes, or other chronic conditions should be vaccinated early. The good news is that H1N1 protection has been incorporated into the seasonal flu vaccine, so there’s no need for 2 separate vaccines (as was necessary last year). The only exceptions are for first time flu vaccine recipients between 6months and 9 years of age. First timers still need the vaccine split into 2 doses, 4 weeks apart. Remember, if you have allergy to egg, or to previous flu vaccine, you should NOT receive it. The nasal flu vaccine, “Flumist” continues to be a popular alternative to the shot. It is a live vaccine, actually somewhat more effective than the inactivated injectable one. It is available to patients ages 2 years to 49 who have no history of wheezing or asthma. With all the routine injections now recommended, it’s kind of nice for patients (and providers!) to be able to get vaccinated without pain! We are told there should be no shortage of flu vaccine this year, but still I would call our office to arrange it in October.

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