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What’s Your Plan for Flu Season?

Are you only planning on stocking your shelves with tissues and over-the-counter medications this flu season? We think you should plan to play a more active role in promoting influenza vaccination in your community.

Only 46% of people in the United States received a seasonal influenza vaccine last year.1 This is far below the US Department of Health and Human Services' goal of achieving a 70% influenza immunization coverage rate among adults and children by 2020.2 Certain populations including children, the elderly, and people with chronic health conditions are at greater risk of complications from the flu.3 Encourage patients who are at risk of complications from the flu to get a flu shot as soon as they can because it can help reduce their risk of being hospitalized or dying from the flu.4

Flu season is quickly approaching and it is time to make your flu plan. Play your part in achieving this goal by partnering with NVS Influenza Vaccines to host an influenza vaccination clinic in your community. Everything you need to promote influenza in your community, from posters to vaccine information, can be found on this website.

Start making your flu plan today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Influenza is highly contagious in healthy adults and can be spread beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Younger children and those who are immunocompromised can potentially spread it for an even longer time. Thus, it is possible to spread the virus to others before you know you are sick.6
There are 2 broad categories of influenza vaccine: trivalent and quadrivalent.7
Trivalent vaccines help protect against 2 influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus. They are available in the following formats7:
  • A standard-dose shot that is manufactured using virus grown in eggs
  • An intradermal shot that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle (approved for patients aged 18-49 years)
  • A high-dose shot (approved for people aged 65 years and older)
  • A shot in which the virus is cultivated in cells (approved for patients aged 18 years and older)
  • A recombinant shot that is egg free (approved for patients aged 18 years and older)
The quadrivalent vaccines help protect against 2 influenza A viruses and 2 influenza B viruses and are available as a shot or a nasal spray. The nasal spray is approved for people aged 2 through 49 years.7

It takes about 2 weeks after you get a flu shot for your body to develop protection against the flu.6 But, no vaccine is 100% effective, so even if you get the flu shot, you may still get the flu.8

Getting a flu shot every year helps protect you from the flu and helps prevent its spread to others. When more people get a flu shot, it helps reduce the number of people in the community who get sick from the flu.7
The CDC does not recommend any one vaccine over another. There are many options to choose from such as a high-dose, an intradermal, and a regular shot, or a nasal spray. A health care provider can help you decide which vaccine is best for you.7
In some cases, depending on the severity of your allergy, you may still be able to get the inactivated influenza vaccine. If you can eat slightly scrambled eggs with no reaction, you can get the inactivated vaccine. If you only get hives after eating eggs or egg-containing foods, you can either get a recombinant influenza vaccine (if the patient is aged 18 years or older and has no other contraindications), which is egg-free, or your physician may recommend monitoring you for at least 30 minutes after administration of the inactivated vaccine (either egg or cell-culture based) if indicated. Any person who has had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine, regardless of the component, should not receive the vaccine in the future.9

REFERENCES

1. National early season flu vaccination coverage, United States, November 2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/fluvaxview/nifs-estimates-nov2014.pdf. Accessed May 26, 2015. 2. US Department of Health and Human Services. Immunization and infectious diseases objectives. In: Healthy people 2020. http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/immunization-and-infectious-diseases/objectives. Updated 2015. Accessed May 15, 2015. 3. Flu & you. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/fluandyou_upright.pdf. Updated 2013. Accessed May 15, 2015. 4. Vaccine effectiveness-How well does the flu vaccine work? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm. Updated 2015. Accessed June 24, 2015. 5. Atkinson W, Wolfe S, Hamborsky J. Influenza: In: Atkinson W, Wolfe S, Hamborsky J, eds.Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 12th ed. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation; 2012: 151-172. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/flu.html. Accessed May 15, 2015. 6. Key facts about influenza (flu) & flu vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm. Updated 2014. Accessed May 15, 2015. 7. Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. Updated 2014. Accessed May 28, 2015. 8. What you need to know about vaccine safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/media/subtopic/matte/pdf/ASD-Vaccine-Safety-Matte.pdf. Updated 2015. Accessed August 20, 2015. 9. Influenza vaccination of people with a history of egg allergy. Immunization Action Coalition website. http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3094.pdf. Updated 2015. Accessed May 27, 2015.