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 to 19 years old
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years old or older.
- People of any age with chronic health problems.
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- Health care workers.
- Caregivers of or people who live with a person at high risk for complications from the flu.
- Out-of-home caregivers of or people who live with children less than 6 months old.
Kentuckians should have a new flu vaccination each season for optimal protection. Children younger than 9 years old who did not receive a flu vaccination during the last flu season should receive a second dose four or more weeks after their first vaccination. A variety of vaccine options are available. All of the vaccine formulations provide coverage for the flu strains that are anticipated to be circulating during this season. Healthy, non-pregnant people age 2-49 years have the option of being vaccinated with the nasal vaccine spray. Intradermal vaccination, in which a smaller needle is used to inject vaccine under the skin rather than into the muscle, is approved for people 18 through 64 years of age. High dose flu vaccine is available again this year as an option for persons aged 65 years and older. A higher dose of antigen in that vaccine is supposed to provide a stronger immune response and may provide better protection against the flu.
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.