2016 Flu Shots
Influenza is the most frequent cause of death from a vaccine-preventable disease in the United States. In a study of influenza seasons from 1976–1977 through 2006–2007, the estimated number of annual influenza-associated deaths from respiratory and circulatory causes ranged from a low of 3,349 (1985–1986 season) to a high of 48,614 (2003–2004 season), with an average of 23,607 influenza-associated deaths. In addition to fatalities, seasonal influenza is responsible for more than 200,000 hospitalizations per year. Rates of infection from seasonal influenza are highest among children, but the risks for complications, hospitalizations, and deaths are higher among adults ages 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years, and people of any age who have medical conditions that place them at increased risk for complications from influenza.
Who should be vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older, who do not have a contraindication to the vaccine, should receive the influenza vaccine annually. Influenza vaccination is recommended yearly as protection from the vaccine decreases with time and because of changes in the circulating influenza virus from year to year.
Receiving the influenza vaccination is one of the most important things we can do to help prevent the spread of influenza disease and its’ complications. When someone contracts influenza, that person may shed the virus for 24 hours before influenza symptoms appear. If a person becomes infected with influenza, even when symptoms are mild, they can spread illness to others. Lack of vaccination could endanger your health and the health of those around you.
Can you get the flu from being immunized?
You cannot get the flu from the influenza vaccine.
There are several reasons why this misconception persists:
- Less than 1% of people who are vaccinated with the injectable vaccine develop flu-like symptoms, such as mild fever and muscle aches, after vaccination. These side effects are not the same as having influenza, but people confuse the symptoms.
- Protective immunity doesn't develop until 1–2 weeks after vaccination. Some people who get vaccinated later in the season (December or later) may be infected with influenza virus shortly afterward. These late vaccines develop influenza because they were exposed to someone with the virus before they became immune. It is not the result of the vaccination.
- To many people "the flu" is any illness with fever and cold symptoms. If they get any viral illness, they may blame it on the vaccine or think they got "the flu" despite being vaccinated. Influenza vaccine only protects against certain influenza viruses, not all viruses.
- The influenza vaccine is not 100% effective, especially in older persons.
What kind of flu vaccines are available?
The Everett Clinic will carry preservative free Quadrivalent Flu shots for adults (all influenza vaccines are packaged as single-dose and are preservative free. The Everett Clinic only carries single dose, preservative free influenza vaccine for adults.)
What is in a flu vaccine?
Influenza vaccine produced for this flu season will be either trivalent (three components) or quadrivalent (4 components). Both types of vaccine contain two A viruses and one B virus.
The 2016-2017 influenza vaccines used in the United States contain:
- A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus,
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus,
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus.
- Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will also contain B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (Victoria lineage) virus
What about FluMist?
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on June 22, 2016, advised that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as FluMist, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season based on data showing poor vaccine effectiveness. ACIP continues to recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older.
The Everett Clinic will not carry Fluzone High-Dose vaccine.
DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed by Everett Clinic teammates and providers on “A Healthier You” blog and those providing comments are theirs alone and are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your own provider for personal health recommendations.
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