The CDC reports that 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter. My wife and I went to CVS last week and got our flu shots as we do each year. So have you made time to get yours yet? Why this matter even more in 2019.
Reports are that this season is going to be especially bad for us. Thus I am again re-posting, with help from a reader who is also an MD, a post we all should consider NOW!
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 (emphasis mine).
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 RenésPoints™ 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 is telling you what to do. Having said that, I would love some reader feedback. But if you do, make sure to use a points card that pays you bonus points at places like CVS etc!
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
Cover photo credit: ©iStock.com/Nastco
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.