Public health officials are urging people to get their flu shots early. This year, though, the decision about which vaccine to ask for is more complicated than ever. Some vaccines are now being made in cell cultures rather than in eggs. This should avoid the risk of a reaction for people who are allergic to eggs.
There are high-dose flu shots, quadrivalent vaccines that protect against four different strains of influenza and some vaccines that are administered intranasally instead of through injection.
As usual, people at especially high risk of complications from flu are urged to get vaccinated, although the data from last year do not show that the shots provide a high level of protection for vulnerable groups. Last year’s flu shot was only 27 percent effective for those over 65 who received it. Let’s hope this year’s vaccine will work better.
Sherry reported her experience from 2012: “I went to the emergency room when I got sicker than usual with the regular type A or B flu. I got tested for them and was negative. Nobody tested me for the swine flu. I have asthma and this flu took my breathing capacity down to 59% which I found out when I went to a pulmonary physician. When I researched this flu, I found out the vaccine was not very effective.
“I’m on additional asthma medicine to get my lungs clear. Doctors in emergency rooms should also rule this out in a diagnosis. This flu kills a lot of children and elderly with underlying health issues. It is not something to be ignored.”