Flu season is right around the corner.
and there are important new recommendations about
the flu vaccine.
Consumer Reports explains who is affected by these
changes and when it's best for people to get the vaccine.
Here's today's On Your Side.
We all know getting a vaccine is hands down the best
defense against the flu.
But depending on your age and health, you may need
to change the type of vaccine you get.
Kids are not going to like this, but this year the
nasal vaccine FluMist is not recommended by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the last three years, FluMist offered little if
any protection against the flu in children between
the ages of 2 and 17.
By comparison, when children got the shot, the vaccine
was 63 percent effective at preventing the flu.
Adults ages 18 to 64 have the option of getting the
vaccine with a smaller needle that only pierces the
skin, which should be less painful than the traditional
shot injected into the muscle.
And there are new formulations for people 65 and over
to consider whose immune system research shows, may
not be as responsive as young people's.
Fluzone High Dose is four times stronger than the
normal vaccine and another type, Fluad, boosts older
people's immune system response.
Check with your doctor on those.
Orly Avitzur, MD.
When it comes to timing the shot, healthy people under
the age of 60 or so can benefit from longer protection
by getting the vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
However, the protective effect of the vaccine may
wear off faster in older people.
So getting the shot a bit later - in early Fall -
may protect them better during winter, when the flu
season tends to peak.
In any case, it takes about two weeks to build up
Consumer Reports says the most important thing, of
course, is to get the flu shot no matter what the
The standard vaccine is still free under most insurance
plans and Medicare - no co-pay or deductible.
But you'll need to check with your insurance company
to be sure.