While many people think of falling leaves this time of year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday reminded the public that if you haven't done so already, then you need to get that flu shot.
This 2013-2014 flu season actually has a menu of different vaccine choices for people over 50 years of age, so the big question will be, "Which vaccine is best for me?"
- Standard dose Trivalent- The virus is grown in eggs. These are approved for people ages 6 months and older.
- Standard dose Trivalent not grown in chicken eggs- Approved for people ages 18-49 years of age.
- High dose Trivalent- For people 65 and over.
- Standard dose "Intradermal" Trivalent- Uses a much smaller needle, and is injected just under the skin. Approved for people 18-64 years old.
- Standard dose Quadrivalent shot- This vaccine will protect against four strains of flu, rather than the usual three in older vaccines.
- "Cell based" injectable vaccine- This vaccine is not grown in c hicken eggs, and is safe for those who have allergies to eggs.
- Standard dose Quadrivalent given as a "Nasal Spray"- Approved for "healthy" people ages 2-49 years of age.
Vaccines for those people 65 and over
If you are not sure about getting the standard vaccine or the high-dose vaccine, ask your doctor. Studies have shown that people getting the high-dose shot produce more antibodies, and that is a good thing.
The body makes antibodies against the "target" disease, in this case, the flu virus. This is important because older folks usually have a weaker response. In fact, this is why the high-dose vaccine was made for people 65 and older, the age-group most likely to be hospitalized or die from flu complications.
We hope this information will be useful in helping you to decide which vaccine is best for you. Remember, if you have a question about the right vaccine for you, call your health care provider.