2016-2017 Flu Season FAQs
Who should get a flu shot?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. We follow this recommendation that has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for "universal" flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications. Every year children and adults die from complications caused by influenza which could have been prevented by getting the vaccine.
When should you get the flu shot?
You should get the flu vaccine every year, as soon as it is available. Influenza season most often peaks in January or February or later, so for people not able to get their influenza vaccine in the fall, vaccination in December, January and beyond is beneficial in most years. However, it takes about 2 weeks for you to be fully protected, so we recommend getting the flu shot as soon as it is available every year.
How long will I be protected by the shot?
Protection from the vaccine typically lasts about a year, however protection is dependent on several factors and will be different for every person. However, most clinical studies on flu vaccines are performed at about 7 or 8 months and so vaccination in August or early September will continue to provide protection for the duration of our flu season, which can last until April or May.
How many doses will I need?
Children age 6 months through 8 years who are receiving the influenza vaccine for the first time this year need 2 doses separated by at least 4 weeks. Children who receive the influenza vaccine for the first time in the immediate previous season and only received 1 dose will need 2 doses in the current season. Children age 9 years and older will only need 1 dose.
Why do we need to get a flu shot every year?
Typically, the effectiveness of the flu shot declines after about a year. In addition, flu shots contain 3 strains of the influenza virus. These strains are picked based on their determination of which strains will be most prevalent this year. Because the strains often mutate from year to year, it is recommended to get a flu shot every year.
What if my child catches a strain not found in the vaccine?
The flu vaccine will protect you and your child from the strains included in the vaccine, but it will also help your body fight any related strain, making any influenza illness milder and less dangerous.
Do all of your staff members receive a flu shot?
All Dakota Pediatrics staff members and providers receive a flu shot as soon as they are available to protect our patients' health.
Will we get sick from getting the flu shot?
No. The most common side effects are soreness at the injection site and in some cases, a mild fever.
What kinds of influenza vaccine do you carry?
At Dakota Pediatrics, we carry Fluzone, made by Sanofi Pasteur, because it is the only flu vaccine approved by the FDA for children as young as 6 months. Fluzone comes as a preservative-free or preservative-containing shot for both children and adults, and we carry both.
Are you avoiding getting a flu shot because you or your child is afraid of shots? No worries, we also carry FluMist, made by MedImmune, which is a nasal spray.And of course, there is always the regular flu shot which contains preservatives.
The following are the types of flu vaccine that we have in stock:
- For kids & adults:
- Fluzone (contains preservatives)
- Preservative-free Fluzone
- FluMist (for those afraid of shots)
- For MNVFC eligible children:
- Fluzone (contains preservative, ages 36 months +)
- Preservative-free Fluzone (ages 6-36 months)
For more information from the CDC on the flu vaccine , click here.