Month September 2015

Flu Shot Season

It’s that time of year for you to get your flu shot! Flu season usually runs between October to March and the flu vaccine is usually active for about 6 months after administration. Therefore, this is the perfect time to stop by Creative Care Pharmacy to receive your annual flu shot. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) patients over the age of 65 had the highest incidence of flu related hospitalizations and patients 0 to 4 years of age came in second.

You are probably wondering why you should receive the vaccine since last years was not as effective?Flu Shot Edmond Oklahoma

To answer that question, we have to begin by explaining how the flu vaccine is made. There are 3 main types of the seasonal flu viruses, type A, B and C. Each type is further subdivided based on the way proteins bind to the virus, and therefore, there can be over 144 possible versions of the flu virus. The World Health Organization works with several facilities to determine the virus’s suspected to trend at the highest rate each year. They usually pick 2 viruses from type A and 1 virus from type B to include in the flu vaccine. As a result, the flu vaccine targets different types of the flu virus every season. Unfortunately, one of the type A viruses that ended up predominating last season was not included in the flu vaccine. However, patients that were exposed to the other 2 viruses were protected. Therefore, the vaccine was still a necessity.

Types of Vaccines available:

The flu vaccine is available in two form live attenuated influenza vaccine (LIAV) and inactive influenza vaccine (IIV). Inactive vaccines are created by taking the virus and killing the disease causing portion of the virus by chemicals, heat, and radiation. Once the vaccine is injected, your body will create antibodies, which are molecules that will fight against the viruses if you are exposed. The live attenuated vaccine is made by taking the virus and structurally weakening the virus so it cannot cause the flu, however, you have to use caution in patients who have a weak immune system.

The CDC recommends all patients 6 months and older should receive the flu vaccine. There are several options available.

Fluzone:

– Contains two different type A strains, and 1 type B strain.

– This vaccine is injected into your muscle.

– It is for patients 6 months and older.

– This vaccine does contain an egg product.

FlubloK:

– Contains two different type A strains and 1 type B strain.

– This vaccine is injected into your muscle.

– It is for patients over 18 years of age.

– This vaccine does not contain any egg products.

High Dose Fluzone:

– Contains two different type A strains, and 1 type B strain.

– This vaccine is injected into your muscle.

– Recommended for patients over 65 years of age.

– This vaccine is 4 times more potent than the fluzone.

– Since patients over the age of 65 are more likely to have hospital related complications this form is recommended.

The high dose and regular dose also come in a quadrivalent formulation that means there are two type A strains and two type B strains. The quadrivalent formulations like the FluBlok are for patient preferences.

Flumist:

– Contains 2 different type A strains and 1 type B strain and is a live vaccine.

– It is for patients 2 years to 49 years of age and patients that are not pregnant.

– This can be taken by spraying the vaccine up your nose.

Can you get the flu by taking the flu shot?

This is highly unlikely because the flu vaccine uses an inactive or non-functioning virus. The vaccine does take about 2 weeks after administration to work since your body has to gradually create the antibodies. If you are exposed to the virus within the first 2 weeks after administration then you may not have had time to build up your immune system.

What side effects does the vaccine have?

You may experience some pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. You may also have some muscle pain, headache, and/or fever which usually resolves within 72 hours.

Why is it important for you to receive the vaccine?

If you have COPD, asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure or any chronic illness, it is critical for you to receive the flu vaccine. If you do not and are exposed to the flu, you may intensify the symptoms of your illness.

Stop by Creative Care Pharmacy located at 14101 N Eastern Avenue in Edmond to learn more about steps you can take to avoid getting the flu and get your annual flu shot. We are also a full-service compounding pharmacy that can provide customized treatment options for patients who haven’t had success with traditional oral therapies.

References:

Center of Disease Control and Prevention: Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/. Accessed on September 13th 2015

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Web site. Available at: http://www.flu.gov/symptoms-treatment/symptoms. Accessed on September 9th 2015

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