Time for a Flu Shot

It is that time of the year for everyone, especially seniors and children to get a flu shot.

Getting a flu shot really early in the season may not protect you towards the end of the flu season, especially if the season is long.  CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends getting a flu shot by October.


Flu Shot
photo credit: USACE Europe District via photopin cc


Each year, based on predictions by experts, the flu vaccines are designed to protect against flu viruses that will be the most common during the upcoming season.

According to the CDC, all of the 2014-2015 influenza vaccine are made to protect against the following three viruses:

an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
an A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus
a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus

Some of the 2014-2015 flu vaccine also protects against an additional B virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus).

You can find more information about the 2014-2015 flu season on the CDC website.


Normal or high dosage? Which one is better for older adults?

In the recent years, many seniors have been given higher doses of the flu vaccine hoping that the stronger immune response may lead to better protection lasting the entire flu season.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Aug 2014) provided evidence that the higher dose flu vaccine does lead to better protection against influenza in older adults due to stronger immune response.  Additionally, the safety of the high dosage vaccine was found to be comparable to the standard dosage.

In the recently published blog article in The New York Times, Dr. Osterholm, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, was quoted as recommending the high dosage vaccine for older adults, if available.


Go to HealthMap Vaccine Finder or flu.gov to find the best locations to get a flu vaccine.


Disclaimer: The above information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.