WICHITA, Kansas – It is clear flu season is around the corner.
The season starts in late October. It takes roughly two weeks after getting vaccinated for the shot to kick in.
In preparation for the season, the Centers for Disease Control is offering new recommendations for parents with young children.
Health officials recommend a flu mist nasal spray as the preferred vaccine for healthy children between the ages of two and eight.
“There have been some studies that have shown that the flu mist provides higher antibodies,” said Beverly Stewart, Immunization Specialist Coordinator.
For those 65 and older, there is now a choice between a standard flu shot or a high dose flu shot approved for the elderly only by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009.
“It has more of the flu antigen in the vaccine itself so it causes a larger immune response,” she added.
Protecting against pneumonia, a severe complication to the flu.
There are also egg free flu vaccines available for people with allergies.
Despite warnings about how serious and deadly the flu can be, the CDC reports that only half of Americans got vaccinated last year.
In fact, the flu kills about 24,000 people each year.
Since there are a variety of flu vaccines offered, health officials do not recommend one over the other.
Instead, they stress more about keeping up health habits and getting vaccinated as soon as they are available.
“Hand washing is the best defense against disease, and to get your flu vaccine even if you don’t think you’re at risk, it is recommended for everybody six months and older and to try and get it soon.”
According to the CDC, there are 150 million flu vaccines available this year. Starting October 1st, they will be available at the Sedgwick County Health Department for the uninsured.