A wider-than-ever array of influenza vaccines is available this year, to help keep you from getting the flu, establish “herd immunity” and limit the spread of flu viruses.
Most of us are familiar with the standard flu shot that has been used for decades – a vaccination containing three strains of influenza, created each year with scientists’ best guess as to what will be going around during flu season. In recent years, nasal spray, higher-dose, and intradermal (into the skin) options have been introduced, and recently new vaccines have been developed, containing four strains of influenza – known as quadrivalent.
Confused yet? Don’t worry. Your primary care provider will help you decide which vaccinations are most appropriate for you and your family members. To help clear things up, we offer this list of flu vaccines that will be available through Samaritan this year.
Standard dose trivalent shots:
The trivalent flu vaccine contains three strains of flu viruses – this year’s version contains strains H1N1 and H3N2, and an influenza B virus. Pediatric doses of this shot are available.
High-dose trivalent shot:
With higher amounts of influenza virus proteins, and this shot can speed up the immune response. Approved for people 65 and older, this vaccine designed to protect the elderly from more serious effects and complications of the flu, including pneumonia and death.
Intradermal trivalent vaccine:
Injected into the skin instead of the muscle, this method uses a panel of tiny microneedles to inject the vaccine into the skin. This shot is for people who hate the regular shots, and is approved for people 18 through 64 years of age. The jury is out on whether it really hurts less than the regular shots.
Standard dose quadrivalent flu vaccine:
Given as a nasal spray, this vaccine is approved for healthy people 2 through 49 years of age, this shot protects against four types of flu viruses, and is most commonly used to vaccinate young children who are upset by needles.
Flu vaccinations are available now at all Samaritan Health Services primary care clinics. Call your doctor’s office to schedule an appointment to get your flu shot soon.
Don’t have a primary care provider? Call the Physician Referral Network toll free at 1-800-863-5241, or fill out our physician referral form
online, and let us help you find a doctor who is right for you.