Which Flu Vaccine is Right For You

 

October is finally here! The month where ghosts, goblins, and ghouls finally get the chance to come out and play. As scary as they are, however, nothing really compares to the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the peak of the flu season is usually between December and February, it may begin as early as October and November. Are you and your family properly protected against the flu yet?

 

What is the flu and how can you protect yourself against it?

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus. Some common signs and symptoms of the flu include fever over 100.4˚F, aching muscles, chills and sweats, headache, and more. Further complications of the flu may lead to hospitalization and even death.

However scary the flu sounds, there are many ways that you can protect yourself. Washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick, and, most importantly, getting the flu shot can help protect you against the flu.

 

Which flu vaccine is right for you?

Trivalent vs Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine

Both types of vaccines are designed to protect you against the flu. The trivalent vaccine protects against two different strains of the influenza A virus and one strain of the influenza B virus. The quadrivalent vaccine protects against two different strains of the influenza A and influenza B virus.

Fluzone vs Fluzone High-Dose Vaccine

Both Fluzone and Fluzone High-Dose are injectable influenza vaccines to help protect against the flu virus. As people grow older, their immune system becomes weaker. Fluzone High-Dose vaccine is specifically designed for people age 65 and older to help promote a stronger immune response compared to the Fluzone vaccine.

Inactivated vs Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine

Both the inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccines cause your immune system to trigger a response without causing the flu. The difference between the two is that the inactivated vaccine contains the inactivated influenza virus while the live attenuated influenza vaccine contains a weakened version of the influenza virus.

 

Routes of Administration

  • Intramuscular injection: An inactivated influenza vaccine that is injected into your upper arm
  • Intradermal injection: An inactivated influenza vaccine that uses a smaller needle than the intramuscular injection and is injected into the top layer of your skin
  • Nasal: A live attenuated flu vaccine that is sprayed into your nose

For more information, check out these sites or come into the pharmacy to speak with a pharmacist.

 

Sources:

 

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

 

 

©2017 Justin Giang, PharmD Candidate 2020

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