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.”

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  1. MC

    I had a flu shot about 40 years and became so sick with a flu that I was “flat on my back” for days! I had no symptoms of a cold, etc. before the shot. I was never so sick in my life, not before or after this flu shot. I haven’t had a flu shot since!

  2. seahurst

    ok so please tell me what vaccine to ask for in the Seattle Washington area ty

  3. Mariellen Gilpin

    I agree with the previous request. Thanks for all you do to inform us!

  4. Stephanie

    I have also heard that the shots are not safe … Any explanations would be appreciated.

  5. Karen

    Agreed, this post is simply confusing. When I follow the link about effectiveness, I get no additional information:
    >The CDC has analyzed the flu vaccine for this year and found that it was only about 27 percent effective for people over 65. Of course, these are precisely the folks who most need the protection that a flu shot might offer.
    What does this mean?
    Does it mean the flu shot only protected 27% of the people who got it? That the people who got the shot had 27% less duration of their flu symptoms?
    Please provide a way to interpret the statistics you are providing. These numbers are in no way meaningful in their current presentation.

  6. Nancy

    I am 70+ years old. I on Aspirin for A-fib and take Amlodipine and Atenolol for hypertension. I have been taking the flu shot for the past 4 years. Are you saying that the shot is ineffective or if older adults need to take the stronger vaccine?
    My arm always swells a bit and hurts for about 2-3 days after the shot.

  7. jim n

    The question I have should the over 65 yo get the double strength flu vaccine.
    Will this increase the antibody titer, and give greater immunity?

  8. Donnie

    I had such severe reactions to the two flu shots I got, that I can’t take any of them. I’m not allergic to eggs, but did react to other ingredients in the shots.

  9. MPH

    We have a choice of which Flu shot to get? What are the choices? Is this reginal? How do I find out which is the best for me? I ususally get mine at Walgreens, I really don’t expect them to have an assortment of Flu Shots to choose from. You published a short article that raises concerns, but you gave little specific, constructive information about what to do! This kind of thing is not helpful, just frustrating.

  10. MMB

    So who should be getting which flu shot ? Who should get the mist ? good topic but just not enough information given here to help us make an informed decision.

  11. A.X.

    OK …so choosing which flu shot is more complicated this year. What are the criteria I should be using to make the choice? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the available options? A little more info would be helpful here!

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