Flu Vaccines for the 2016-'17 Flu Season
As a reminder, CMG will begin offering flu vaccines October 3, 2016. CMG offers preservative free, quadrivalent flu vaccines. Most retail outlets offer the trivalent flu vaccine. The trivalent flu vaccine is desinged to protect against 3 different flu viruses (2 influenza A viruses and 1 influenza B virus) and the quadrivalent flu vaccine is designed to protect against 4 different flu viruses (2 influenza A viruses and 2 influenza B viruses). The injectable flu vaccine provides protection for about 6 months and each year the flu vaccine is changed to provide the best protection against the top 4 strains of flu seen the previous year.
According to the ACIP and CDC, the start of flu season can begin as early as October, but in 74% of flu seasons since 1982, peak flu activity has not occurred until January or later, and in 59% of seasons, the peak was February or later. For these reasons, the physicians of CMG decided to begin administering flu vaccines in October to protect our patients and their families best throughout the flu season.
This year we are not carrying the intranasal flu vaccine (Flumist). Recently, the CDC reported that the Flumist has not been effective the last 3 years against the flu strains. They are looking more in depth in how to proceed or change the Flumist in the future. However, to best protect everyone and so we are not offering an ineffective vaccine, CMG is following the CDC's recommendation to not provide the Flumist this flu season.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive a flu vaccine each season. Some children may need 2 doses of the flu vaccine if this is the first time getting the vaccine. Your child's physician and nurse can answer any questions about how many doses your child needs.
For more information regarding the 2016-'17 flu season, visit the CDC's flu webpage.