The Pharmacist Connection
It’s Flu Season! When should I get vaccinated?
The Center for Disease Control recommends that people get vaccinated against flu soon after vaccine becomes available, or by October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.
When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?
The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.
Can I get vaccinated and still get the flu?
Yes. It’s possible to get sick with the flu even if you have been vaccinated (although you won’t know for sure unless you get a flu test). Here’s why:
• You may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated, or during the period that it takes the body to gain protection after vaccination. This exposure may result in you becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect you— remember, it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide flu.
• You may be exposed to a flu virus strain that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different flu viruses that circulate every year. Each season’s vaccine is made to protect against the three or four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common.
Which flu vaccine should I get?
There are three options available that we recommend you consider:
• A quadrivalent normal dose vaccine available for patients aged 6 months and older.
• A trivalent high dose available for patients age 65 years of age and older.
• A quadrivalent intradermal normal dose for those who may be afraid of needles—for patients between the ages of 18 and 64.
Any of these options are acceptable within their approved age ranges. It is NOT recommend to use the FluMist vaccine for children: the best choice is the quadrivalent pediatric dose injection.
For additional information about the flu feel free to visit the current flu page at the CDC website.
Other important vaccines to ask about while your healthcare provider's office:
• Adults under 65 with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung/breathing disease, and all Adults 65 years of age and older — Pneumonia: Prevnar and/or Pneumovax • Shingles: Zostavax
• All patients aged 9-26 — HPV: Gardasil 9
I’m here to help! If you have any drug-related or vaccine related questions, please contact me through the Patient Portal and I’ll be happy to answer.