Couture Flu Shots – New options for Flu Shots

Couture Flu ShotsYes, in America we are blessed with variety of everything.  Now you have new options on vaccines to avoid getting the flu.Every year, according to the CDC, 20% of the population get the flu and an average of 24,000 American’s died from the Flu.  Yes, from the flu.  Our world’s most lethal outbreak was the 1917-1918 H1N1 influenza outbreak. That flu virus, which started in Kansas, killed 20 to 40 million people worldwide.   So Federal health officials recommend a yearly flu vaccine for nearly everyone, starting at 6 months of age.

So what’s new with the Flu Shot? A lot.

Certain new vaccines will guard against 4 strains of flu rather than the usual 3. Called quadrivalent vaccines, these brands may prove more popular for children than their parents. That’s because kids tend to catch the newly added strain more often.  All of the nasal spray version sold in the U.S. this year will be this new variety, called FluMist Quadrivalent. But the nasal vaccine is only for healthy people ages 2 to 49 who aren’t pregnant because it’s a live vaccine (like Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Polio vaccines).  There are quadrivalent injections available but they will be in short supply.

Allergic to eggs? There is a now 100% egg free vaccine called Flublok.  Flu vaccines are still grown in an “old fashioned” way.  Every year chosen viral strains are inoculated into millions of fertilized chicken eggs in which the viruses are incubated. The eggs are opened, and the virus is extracted, purified, then chemically killed while preserving the normal shape of its coat proteins.  If your allergic to eggs, you can develop a mild to severe allergic reactions.   (My son has terrible egg allergies but we give him the vaccine in the allergist office with no complications.) Flublok is made using recombinant DNA technology produced in an insect cell line.  It is 100% egg free.  But it is approved only for ages 18-49.

If you are 65-and-older, there is an extra-strength dose called Fluzone-Highdose.  It has the traditional three strains of flu, but at 4x the standard dose.  This is thought to help those with age-weakened immune systems that don’t respond as well to regular flu shots.  The company released a study that suggests its is better, 24% better, than standard Flu shot dose; however the FDA has not endorsed that study yet.  Despite 4x the dose, potential side effects (sniffles, ache, fever, soreness, fatigue) were not higher.

And if your afraid of shots, there is a new brand that delivers the vaccine in a small skin-deep prick called Fluzone Intradermal.  Typically we use a 13mm needle and inject deep into your deltoid muscle.  The intradermal dose only uses a needle on 1.5mm, or as thick as your finger nail.   Painless.

According to Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious disease specialist from the Mayo Clinic, “We’re moving away from the one-size-fits-all to choosing the best possible vaccine for an individual’s age and condition.”

So bottom line, which should you get?  In my opinion, it doesn’t matter, just get it and tell a friend.  (In the 2011-2012 flu season only about 42% of people got vaccinated).  When should you get it?  Get it now since it takes at least 2 weeks for your body to develop antibodies to fight again the virus that kills thousands every year.   Outbreaks can start as early as October. Call Signature Medicine to get immunized, I already did.

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