THE NEW FLU SHOT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
GET THE FACTS ON INFLUENZA FOR A SNEEZE-FREE WINTER
WHO SHOULD GET THE FLU VACCINE?
Everyone age 6 months or older, according to the CDC. Check with your doctor first if you’re allergic to eggs, feeling ill or have had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GET IT?
Late September or early October, so you’re protected when the flu season is in full swing, typically December through February. “We know that antibodies peak four to six weeks after getting a vaccine,” explains Ann Falsey, MD, professor of medicine in the infectious disease unit at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “And then they slowly go down over the next six months.”
IS THE FLU SHOT MY ONLY OPTION?
Not anymore. For the first time since the 2015–’16 season, the CDC has approved a nasal flu vaccine for use in non-pregnant people ages 2 to 49 without certain medical conditions (including moderate or severe acute illness, with or without fever). But for kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics says shots are a safer bet.
DOES ONE VACCINE FIT ALL?
If you’re 65 or older, there’s a Fluzone High-Dose influenza vaccine designed just for you. It contains four times the amount of antigen as the regular flu shot, and a study showed those who received the high-dose vaccine had 24 percent fewer influenza infections as compared to those who received the standard dose.
HOW ELSE CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
Always practice good health habits, including covering coughs, washing hands often, avoiding people who are sick and frequently using alcoholbased hand sanitizer.
“I want families to know how important inf luenza vaccination can be.”
— Jennifer Garner