While planning your holiday gatherings, you’ll probably make several lists: household chores to complete before company arrives, recipes to try, groceries to procure, gifts to buy for family and loved ones, et cetera. But not adding “flu vaccine to schedule” to your list could potentially ruin your family’s holiday festivities.
Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, and it takes about two weeks after vaccination for protection to set in. Everyone in your family 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year.
What’s new for the 2016-2017 flu season?
Only injectable flu shots are recommended this season.
Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)—or the nasal spray vaccine—is not recommended for use flu season due to questions about its effectiveness.
Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
Each year, the composition of U.S. flu vaccines is updated to match flu viruses that are currently in circulation. For 2016-2017, it is recommended that three-component vaccines contain H1N1, H3N2 and B/Victoria Lineage virus.
There are two new vaccines on the market this season.
A new flu vaccine with adjuvant (a vaccine ingredient that helps create a stronger immune response in the patient’s body) will be available for the first time in the United States. This new vaccine is approved for use in people 65 years and older.
This season, a flu shot that protects against four (rather than just the standard three) flu viruses made with virus grown in cell culture will be available for the first time in the U.S. and is approved for use in people 4 years and older.
The recommendations for people with egg allergies have changed.
People who have experienced only hives after exposure to eggs can get any licensed and recommended flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health.
People who have had more severe symptoms than hives after exposure to eggs can also get any licensed and recommended flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health, but the vaccine should be given in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions.
People with egg allergies no longer have to wait 30 minutes after receiving their vaccine.
Make sure to protect your family from this potentially serious disease. To make an appointment for your flu vaccine, call Beaufort Memorial Lady’s Island Internal Medicine, (843)522-7240.