According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you’re most likely to contract a virus from early October until the end of May. Viruses can cause side effects such as fever and dehydration in healthy people but can be potentially lethal to children, the elderly, and anyone with an underlying illness. In order to reduce your chances of contracting the virus, the CDC recommends anyone over the age of six months get a flu shot. This year, the CDC offers a variety of flu shot options. Here’s a peak at the new options:
- Egg-free vaccine: Most flu vaccines are grown in eggs in labs. This year, an eggless vaccine, called Flublok, has been developed by the Protein Sciences Corporation right here in Connecticut. Described as a medical breakthrough, the vaccine is made without using a live flu virus. It’s also made without mercury preservative thimerosal and doesn’t contain antibiotics which contribute to the growth of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Some say it’s more effective than other vaccines and clearly, it’s perfect for those with egg allergies. (Click here to read more about Flublok).
- Four-strain vaccine: Most flu shots protect against three strains but because viruses can easily mutate into new strains, a new four-strain vaccine has been developed this year called the quadrivalent vaccine. It’s a smart choice to get, especially for healthy women. Tip: Get it soon, this new vaccine may run out early.
- Smaller needle vaccine: Long needles deliver a dose past your skin and into the muscle below. For those with needle phobias, there is now a smaller needle which gently jabs the skin. If you can’t stand needles at all, the nasal spray vaccine is still available.
- Find a vaccine provider anywhere: If you don’t have a primary care physician, don’t worry! You can get a flu shot at your nearest pharmacy, community center, and many other locations. Go to the CDC’s Flu Vaccine Finder and simply punch in your zip code to find a flu clinic near you!
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