Friday, August 22, 2014

2014/15 Flu season/ vaccine info

Flu Vaccine 2014/2015 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, who are getting the flu vaccine for the very first time should receive two doses of the vaccine in order to be considered fully protected. The two doses need to be separated by at least four weeks. If they did get one shot last season they only need one this season.
Children under the age of three get a half dose.  
Children over the age of two have the option of getting the shot or the nasal flu mist. This is a live vaccine.
The current studies are suggesting that the mist might be the most effective treatment for children between 2-8.
Most two year old toddlers do NOT like having something squirted in their nose, sometimes you are better off with the shot.
From what I could see, both methods seems about equally effective last season.

Every year the disease trackers do the best they can to predict which strains of the virus will circulate and try to match the flu vaccine to the anticipated strain. Some years have better matches than others.Last years match seemed pretty good.
Usually the vaccine differs from year to year, but this season the formulation is the same one that was used last year.
Our office will be supplied with the quadrivalent vaccine that covers H1N1, one other A strain and 2 B strains. The B strains are expected to cause the most severe cases in younger patients this season.
Some of the available vaccine out there this year from other places will be Trivalent.That covers only only 1 of the B strains.
Do try to get the quadrivalent if you have an option.

Last season the flu wasn't much of an issue. Most of the folks who got the shot ended up with decent protection. Plenty of people did get  the flu and had a miserable week, but no one in our practice had any severe complications.

We had ample supply of the vaccine last season, Towards the end of the season there were fatalities from flu that made the news (as there are many years) This caused a panic and a run on the vaccine. Many other offices did run out.
I anticipate that we again will have plenty of vaccine available for our patients but there are no absolute guarantees.
Getting your child vaccinated early in the season is your best bet. As soon as they turn 6 months old we can get them started.
Because we already have experience with this particular flu vaccine, I do not expect any problematic reactions to the shot or mist.
Some of our patients did seem to have low grade fevers for a day or two, but for the most part the vaccine was tolerated very well.
All of the Flu vaccine in our office is preservative free.

I will be blogging the reactions and the vaccine availability, and any details of when the flu starts to make it's rounds and what the symptoms look like on the weekly Noe Valley Pediatrics update blog.
We just got our first shipment of the baby doses.

Click below for the 2014 Flu information statement from the CDC

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