The following is adapted from www.cdc.gov:
This holiday season, remember it’s not too late to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu.
Don’t fall for the myth that it’s too late to vaccinate against the flu once the Thanksgiving holidays are over. As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can provide protection against the flu. According to the latest CDC Flu activity report, influenza levels are currently increasing across the country. And since flu activity doesn’t usually peak until February in the United States and can last as late as May, it’s important to vaccinate now if you haven’t already.
An Annual Flu Vaccine for Everyone 6 Months of Age and Older
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. A flu vaccine offers the best protection we have against this serious disease. Once vaccinated, it takes about 2 weeks for the body’s immune response to fully kick in.
Flu Vaccine: You’ve Got Choices
This year, there’s no excuse not to get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccine is still available and there are more choices than ever, both in terms of where to get vaccinated and what type of vaccine to get. Flu vaccines are safe, and cannot give you the flu.
There are two types of flu vaccines:
- The “flu shot”—an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. There are three different flu shots available:
- A regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and older
- A high-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older, and
- An intradermal flu shot approved for people 18 to 64 years of age. (An intradermal shot is injected into the skin instead of the muscle, and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot.)
- The nasal-spray flu vaccine—a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that is given as a nasal spray (sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine”). LAIV is approved for use in healthy* people ages 2 through 49 years who are not pregnant.
Learn more at: http://www.cdc.gov/features/fighttheflu/