Seasonal Flu Vaccine
Seasonal flu is a term used for the yearly flu viruses that occur, usually during late fall and winter.
Who needs a seasonal flu vaccine?
Anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get a vaccine. This year, the vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older.
People who should especially receive the flu vaccine, because they may be at higher risk for complications or negative consequences include:
- Children age 6 months through 4 years old
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years old or older.
- People age 6 months or older with chronic health problems.
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- Health care workers, household contacts and caregivers of or people who live with a person at high risk for complications from the flu.
- Out-of-home caregivers of children younger than 6 months old.
Kentuckians should have a new flu vaccination each season for optimal protection. Healthy, non-pregnant people ages 2 through 49 can be vaccinated with either the flu shot or the nasal spray vaccine. Children ages 6 months through 8 years who have never received a previous seasonal flu vaccination or have only received one flu vaccination in the past should receive a second dose four or more weeks after their first vaccination. Health professionals can help determine if a child will need two vaccinations against flu this season, in order to provide the best protection.
Some high-dose flu vaccine is available as an option for individuals age 65 years and older. A higher dose of antigen in the vaccine is designed to create a stronger immune response and provide better protection against the flu. However, the CDC has not expressed a preference for high dose vaccine, so Kentuckians 65 and older are urged to receive the regular dose vaccine if the high dose vaccine is unavailable.
When should you get the seasonal flu vaccine?
Seasonal flu vaccine will be available as early as September in many communities this year. Please arrange to receive the vaccine as soon as it arrives at your health care provider, local health department or pharmacy.
While no shortage is expected at this time, the Department for Public Health encourages people to receive their vaccination as soon as possible.