SEASONAL FLU VACCINATION

An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines (called trivalent vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. In addition, there are flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus.

WHO SHOULD GET THE VACCINE AND WHEN?

CDC has not expressed a preference for which flu vaccine people should get this season except for one: Starting in 2014-2015, CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine for healthy* children 2 years through 8 years of age when it is immediately available and if the child has no contraindications or precautions to that vaccine. If the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available and the flu shot is, vaccination should not be delayed and a flu shot should be given.  For more information about the new CDC recommendation, see Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 Years through 8 Years Old(http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/nasalspray-children.htm) or the 2014-2015 MMWR Influenza Vaccine Recommendations.

Getting the vaccine as soon as it is available will provide protection if the flu season comes early.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A FLU VACCINE:
Go to: http://flushot.healthmap.org/

NEW VACCINE REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILDREN ATTENDING DAYCARE:

The State of Connecticut has issued new influenza vaccine requirements for children who attend day care. By January 2011, and each January 1 thereafter, children ages 6-59 months attending a child day care center, group day care center, or family day care home are required to receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine between September 1 and December 31 of the preceding year. If families do not provide proof of the vaccinations, their children will be excluded from day care programs. Families, however, can seek exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SEASONAL FLU:

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SOURCE: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
PREPARED BY: 211/lb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: January2015