FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 24, 2013
DENVER—Coloradans wanting to protect themselves from seasonal influenza will have several new vaccine options for the 2013-14 flu season. New this year are quadrivalent shots and nasal sprays offering protection against four flu virus strains rather than the usual three. Also, a new vaccine is available for people with severe allergies to eggs, which are used in traditional flu vaccination production. For people afraid of shots, there now is an intradermal vaccine that goes only into the skin (rather than the muscle) with a small, thin needle.
The CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months receive a flu vaccine. Children aged six months through eight years who have never received a seasonal flu vaccine are recommended to get two doses of the vaccine spaced at least four weeks apart.
People at high risk of serious complications from seasonal influenza include those 65 years and older, children younger than five years, pregnant women and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions. During the 2012-13 flu season, there were more than 1,500 hospitalizations and five pediatric deaths caused by the flu in Colorado.
Dr. Rachel Herlily, deputy director of the department’s Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division, said, “Since flu season is so unpredictable, we recommend getting vaccinated as early as you can. It’s important to get vaccinated before outbreaks occur in your area, especially since it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective.”
Contact your health care provider to find out which vaccine is best for you. New forms of the flu vaccine may not yet be available at every location that offers vaccinations. Visit http://flushot.healthmap.org to find out where you can get vaccinated and the vaccines available.