Flu Season Is Almost Here!

Roll up your Sleeves and Fight the Flu!

With flu season quickly approaching, it is time to start thinking about getting your flu vaccine. It is estimated by the CDC that the flu results in between 9.2 million and 35.6 Flu shot 2018million illnesses each year in the United States. Only approximately 47% of people got a flu vaccine during the 2016-2017 season. It is always best to get your flu vaccine as early as possible because it takes 2 weeks for your body to gain protection. You want to make sure you are covered before you may come into contact with the virus. It is important for patients of all ages to get the flu vaccine. Even if you don’t believe you are at high risk, you can do your part to keep those around you who ARE at high risk safe (infants, elderly, immune suppressed) by not passing along the flu. There are a few age related considerations for this flu season that you should be aware of. If you are located in MA, NY, or PA, you can bring your children over the age of 9 to get their flu vaccine at Price Chopper or Market 32 Pharmacy! If you are over the age of 65, the high dose flu shot may be a good option for you. It is proven that as age increases, the immune system decreases. A high dose flu vaccine provides 24% better protection for patients over 65 than the regular dose flu vaccine. There is also new evidence to show that the flu vaccine typically used for patients with egg allergies, Flublok, actually provides 30% better protection than the normal flu vaccine if you are aged 50-64. At Price Chopper or Market 32, there is no appointment required and many insurance plans cover flu vaccines with a $0 copay. Talk to your local Price Chopper or Market 32 Pharmacist to see which flu vaccine is right for you! Myth busting: Myth: “I got the flu shot and then I got the flu right after!” Fact: It is possible to experience mild side effects for 1-2 days after your vaccine. It is important to note that this is not the flu. The flu vaccine is an inactive vaccine that cannot give you the flu. It takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to become effective. If you do present with a confirmed case of flu, you were most likely exposed before the vaccine became effective. Myth: “I got my flu shot last year. I don’t need another one.” Fact: The strains of flu virus that are prevalent during each new flu season can vary. The flu vaccine is updated from season to season so you get the most up to date protection. Myth: “Even if I get the flu, I’m sure I’ll recover quickly. I’m healthy so I don’t need a flu shot.” Fact: Even if you are generally healthy, the flu can cause serious complications and may even require hospitalization. It is also a possibility that even if it doesn’t cause complications for you, it could be dangerous for your loved ones around you.   References: Disease Burden of Influenza [Internet]. CDC; 2018 [cited 2018 August 14]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/burden.htm 2010-11 through 2016-17 Influenza Seasons Vaccination Coverage Trend Report [Internet]. CDC; 2017 [cited 2018 August 14]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/reportshtml/trends/index.html No More Excuses: You Need a Flu Vaccine [Internet]. CDC; 2016 [cited 2018 August 13]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/general/no-excuses-flu-vaccine-print.pdf DiazGranados CA, Dunning AJ, Kimmel M, et al. Efficacy of high-dose versus standard-dose influenza vaccine in older adults. N Engl J Med. 2014;371:635-645 Dunkle LM, Izikson R, Patriarca P, Goldenthal KL, Muse D, Callahan J, Cox MMJ; PSC12 Study Team. Efficacy of Recombinant Influenza Vaccine in Adults 50 Years of Age or Older. N Engl J Med. 2017 Jun 22;376(25):2427-2436. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1608862. PubMed PMID: 28636855.