Travel Related

I went to CVS yesterday. No not for those, for a Flu shot! Do you get one? Should you?

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a shot

Most of you all know I will be flying a ton in September. I will visit ATL, CVG, DTW, MSP, GRR, LAX, LAS, MIA, EWR, PHX, AMS, DFW, SFO, GOT and a few more I think. Some of them I will visit several times. Yeah, I see lots of bumpertunites, that is, chances for oversold flights and getting a bump and a voucher for taking a later flight. But I also see chances for lots of sick people with all sorts of nasty bugs. And we all know planes are not all “that clean” right? The one thing I don’t want is to do all that flying sick as a dog! And not just for me, but I do not want to share a bug with my fellow flyers either.

flu shot sign at cvs

So yesterday I started calling around to see if anyone in my area already had received this year’s flu vaccine shipments and the first two places basically said:

You are WAY too early, check back late September.

Well a fat lot of good that will do for me as I need one NOW as it takes a little while to build up full immunity. But then I called my local CVS (I mean I go there anyway now and then) and they said sure you will the 2nd person this season to get one from us. Sweet!

But this got me thinking about my annual flu shot. Is it a good idea? The CDC site has lots of info for us to consider, but I also reached out to Dr. Julien since he was so great to help with a much appreciated Sunday reader post. Here is what he shared with me.

Hi Dr. Julien, hey thanks for taking the time to help with this post.
Nice to hear from you René.

Do you get one each year yourself?
Yes. Flu vaccines are extremely safe as long as you’re not allergic to them or have a previous history of Guillain-Baré syndrome. Generally speaking, any healthcare provider offering flu shots should always go through a list of contraindications before injecting.

Some of the places I called here in Indiana seemed to indicate I was jumping the gun in getting my shot already. Can you get it too soon, that is too early? Is it better to wait?
No, the sooner the better. There is a two-week delay between injection and immunity. The CDC recommends to get vaccinated before the end of October.

Also, you might wanna know that there are two types of flu vaccines: trivalent and quadrivalent. Trivalent vaccines protect from three different strains (usually two A viruses and one B virus) and quadrivalent vaccines protect from four different strains (two A and two B). It’s impossible to know in advance which strains are going to be endemic in a specific region of the world. I would certainly encourage travelers to get a quadrivalent vaccine as they are more likely to encounter different types of flu viruses (as long as it doesn’t mean delaying your flu shot; in which case, simply go for a trivalent.) On the US market, French pharmaceutical Sanofi-Pasteur markets a quadrivalent vaccine called Fluzone whereas British competitor Glaxo-Smithkline markets Fluarix which is also quadrivalent. Both are single-dose injections with excellent records of safety. Also, Maryland-based pharmaceutical MedImmune offers an inhaled quadrivalent vaccine called FluMist. FluMist is an excellent option especially if you want to avoid an injection. However it is significantly more expensive and lots of insurance plans won’t cover it or might just cover it for children.

That is just what I needed to hear. Thanks so much for your input Dr. Julien and for being here for me and other Delta Points readers on the blog.
Happy to be of service René

Now clearly, even though Dr. Julien is an MD, you should always make your own decisions as to any kind of healthcare. Neither of us are telling you what to do. Having said that, I would love some reader feedback.

How many of you get a flu vaccine each year? Do you like to go as early as possible or before a long trip or flying internationally? Do you not get them for some reason? Please take the time to comment on the blog and share with us all! – René


PS – Be sure to enter to WIN 15,000 MQMs this week!


Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.


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  1. Chris Welling


    As a loyal follower and pharmacist, I am in total agreement with the article. I work here in Naples, Fl at Publix Supermarkets. We have had our shots for 2 weeks now and have given nearly 2 dozen immunizations so far myself. The earlier the better as well to avoid the rush of what will be coming when the news hits the national media. The flu shot covers you through next June and I agree, the Quad shot is more appropriate for international travel. For those flyers who are over the age of 65, I suggest getting the high dose shot as it has been shown to be more effective than the regular dose for those under 65. The shot is just not strong enough.

    Hope this helps!

    Happy Flying

  2. rene

    @Chris – txs for your input very much and yes it does help!

  3. I was mandated to have a flu shot every year in high school (boarding school), since then for 19 years I have never had the flu shot. And I have not caught the flu. Stay healthy, wash your hands properly and be careful around others.

  4. Good advice. Local RiteAid had quadrivalent in stock, got my shot today. Headed to Atlanta next week for DragonCon. Thanks!

  5. I am getting my shot. Thanks for the detailed info for the International travel. I will ask for that.


  6. Jo Duchene

    Since age of forthy i take flu Pasteur vaccine in Paris and in case of real flu i avoid 8 days, because a flu without vaccine is 15 days total.

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