Flu Shot Clinics
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Flu Shot Information
McKee Medical Center
Flu Shot Hotline:
All guidelines for flu vaccine distribution are issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and we will follow these guidelines. If supplies are initially limited, the CDC will again institute a tiered system for vaccine distribution.
There are two types of vaccines:
- The "flu shot"—an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
- The nasal-spray flu vaccine—a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for "Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine"). LAIV is approved for use in healthy people five years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
Each vaccine contains three influenza viruses—one A (H3N2) virus, one A (H1N1) virus, and one B virus. The viruses in the vaccine change each year based on international surveillance and scientists' estimates about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year.
About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body.
When should I get my flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that influenza vaccination begin as soon as the vaccine becomes available to the community. Antibodies develop and provide protection in the body approximately two weeks after injection and although the flu season usually peaks between January and March it can begin as early as October
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year. They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications.
People who should get vaccinated each year include:
- All persons age 6 months and older should be vaccinated annually.
- Protection of persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications should continue to be a focus of vaccination efforts as providers and programs transition to routine vaccination of all persons age 6 month s and older.
- People who can transmit flu to others at high risk for complications. This includes all health-care workers, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children 0 to 23 months of age, and close contacts of people 65 years and older.
Use of the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
It should be noted that vaccination with the nasal-spray flu vaccine is always an option for healthy persons age 2-49 years who are not pregnant. This vaccine is not subject to prioritization and can be given to healthy 2-49 year olds at any time. Community Wellness at McKee Medical Center offers the nasal spray vaccine for healthy persons age 4-49. We do not vaccinate children under the age of 4 with either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
There are some people who should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. These include:
- People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
- People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting a previous influenza vaccine.
- Influenza vaccine is not approved for use in children less than 6 months of age.
- People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.
The ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or "match" between the virus strains in the vaccine and those in circulation. Testing has shown that both the flu shot and the nasal-spray vaccine are effective at preventing the flu.
Vaccine Side Effects (What to Expect)
Different side effects can be associated with the flu shot and LAIV.
The flu shot: The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur include:
- Soreness redness, or swelling where the shot was given
- Fever (low grade)
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. As of July 1, 2005, people who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Get more information at the VICP Web site.
LAIV: The viruses in the nasal-spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. (In clinical studies, transmission of vaccine viruses to close contacts has occurred only rarely.)
In children, side effects from LAIV can include:
- runny nose
- muscle aches
In adults, side effects from LAIV can include:
- runny nose
- sore throat
Will a flu vaccine prevent stomach flu?
The flu is a respiratory illness. You cannot have a "stomach flu." Symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are not common flu symptoms, except in very young children.
Is it a cold or the flu?
If you have a cold your illness will usually begin slowly, two to three days after infection by the virus. It will normally last only two to seven days.
- You will most likely first notice a scratchy, sore throat, followed by sneezing and a runny nose.
- You may get a mild cough a few days later.
- Adults and older children usually don't have a fever, but if they do, it will be very mild.
- Infants and young children; however, sometimes have fevers up to 102 degrees F.
If you have the flu you will have a sudden headache and dry cough
- You might have a runny nose and a sore throat
- Your muscles will ache. You will be extremely tired
- You can have a fever of up to 104 degrees F.
- You most likely will feel better in a couple of days, but the tiredness and cough can last for two weeks or longer