I am required to get one (Nurse Practioner in hospital) and will get my first one this week. It is actually a 3-strain combination this year. If you get it too early, you can lose some immunity if a bad flu bug hits later in the season, but you are still protected to some extent. It takes about 2 weeks for you to acquire immunity and historically, February is the worst month for influenza outbreaks. I urge anyone with small children over 6 months old, older people (and those of us over 50), or anyone with health complications, like the COPD mentioned above, to get it. Anyone who has a serious medical condition that should NOT receive it will already know that. They can NEVER nail down exactly what particular strain will hit, the vaccines are usually 50-90% effective, but it's better to be protected than not. Just make sure you tell your physician, or whoever gives it to you, if you have had a cold, any type of respiratory illness, or anything that caused you to have a fever recently
. This will preclude you from getting one right then, but you can wait a certain amount of time and come back - they will tell you when depending on how recently you were sick and what type of illness you had. There is also a new one this year, for those who are 65 and older, called Fluzone High-Dose
. Kids still need to get follow-up boosters, just like in the past.
There are some other things you will be asked before you get one and please make sure you do NOT ignore the question about an allergic reaction to chicken eggs. The vaccines are still cultured in egg proteins, even the nasal mist one. Most of you know whether you have had complications or shouldn't get the vaccine, but I am always concerned with the various in-store clinics, the drive-thru clinics - anything outside your doctors office or Health Department because sometimes things move so fast that possible problems can be overlooked. So, that's my 'small novel' on the subject.
Please be responsibe and go out and get that vaccine. It is NOT a conspiracy on the part of the drug companies - flu can and will kill us!Disclaimer: If you get sick, do not blame it one me....