Friday, August 16, 2013

Flu Vaccine 2013/2014 information

All about this season's flu vaccine

It is recommended that all children over the age of 6 months get the flu protection.
If you have an infant under 6 months of age, please consider getting the flu shot for yourselves and any of the baby's close contacts.
All children under the age of nine, need to have one season where they have received two doses of the flu vaccine in order to be considered fully protected. The two doses need to be separated by at least four weeks.
Children under the age of three get a half dose. All of the vaccine in our office is preservative free.  
Children over the age of two have the option of getting the shot or the nasal flu mist.
(most two year olds do NOT like having something squirted in their nose, sometimes you are better off with the shot)
Until we are well into the season, I won't know if one method is more effective than the other. Every year is different.

Most years have some differences in the vaccine, although a couple of years ago the shot stayed the same for two seasons in a row.
The disease trackers do the best they can to predict which strains of the virus will circulate. Some years have better matches than others.

Last season the flu wasn't much of an issue. Plenty of people got the flu and had a miserable week, but most of the folks who got the shot ended up with decent protection (there was one strain B that they didn't get right)  


 We had ample supply of the vaccine last season, although other offices did run out. In the recent past there have been years when a nasty flu made the rounds, the media banged the panic drums and there was a run on the vaccine. One never knows when that will happen. I will never forget the year that H1N1  wrecked havoc. I don't anticipate any issues this season, but it is a good idea to get the shot early in the season. The protection should last the year. 

The vaccine this season covers the H1N1 as well as up to three new strains. For the first time ever a  quadrivalent (covering 4 strains) vaccine that  will be available.
All of the nasal flu vaccine will cover all 4 strains, The injectable vaccine that will be available this season will be either trivalent (covering 3 strains) or quadrivalent.  It might be worth asking before you get a shot.
. Our office will only have the quadrivalent. It remains to be seen whether or not the extra strain that will be covered will ultimately matter, but we were given an early opportunity to go with the newer vaccination so we jumped on board. (my understanding is that only 20% of the vaccine this year will protect against that extra strain)
We have already received the first shipment of the flu mist.

Every year the vaccine reaction differs.
I will have a better sense of that once we start giving the vaccine.

I will be blogging the reactions and the vaccine availability on the weekly Noe Valley Pediatrics update blog

Click below for the 2013 Flu information statement from the CDC

flu information

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