Why not go get your 2018/2019 FLU SHOT right now? It is not too early according to experts!

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The following is a re-post from a few a few years back but since flu season is right around the corner I wanted to share this post on the blog again! I have also just called my local CVS and they have this year’s shots in stock and am on my way to get mine for 2018/2019!

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

 

 

 

 

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7 comments

  1. Contracted H1N1 in 2009 and it was AWFUL. I’ve never felt so sick in my life. Entire days where I’d medicate and still be in bed sleeping 90% of the day.

    Anything I can do to reduce risk of repeating that is worth it. Since I go to DragonCon (HUGE convention) in a couple of weeks and mix with 80K people, I even pay for local pharmacy to get quadrivalent vaccine out of pocket. My health insurance group doesn’t give out flu shots until later in September, and it’s not worth the “savings” to me vs the risk.

  2. Doesn’t the flu vaccine have a limited duration of effectiveness? That would mean that getting one “early” could leave one exposed to risk at the tail end of the flu season. So for me timing of the shot depends on whether I’ll be doing more travel earlier or later within the flu season. Getting one too early could backfire.

  3. @Transportprof – No. The point of the post. Get it ASAP and lasts for the full flu season. Waiting is the real risk.

  4. I know it’s been proven that the flu shot won’t get you sick, but 3 our of 4 years I got VERY sick within a day or two after getting the flu shot. I’ve been lucky and never got sick when I skipped it. So, I avoid the flu shot now.

  5. A timely post. I got my flu shot yesterday. I have a few trips coming up for September and October and also January and want to eliminate any chance of getting sick if possible.

    I caught a cold from my husband on our very recent Yellowstone trip and hoping to avoid anything else.

    Now, to can get him to be proactive on this. We both need the senior shot. Got mine at the Walmart Pharmacy. They advised my timing was perfect. No big crowds and they tend to run out towards the end of September.

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