New Flu Vaccine Guidelines

Which do you need?

Flu season is nearly upon us and Flu vaccines will be available in a few weeks. This year there are different types of vaccines and different guidelines for the shots, but which do you need?

The vaccines for seasonal or regular flu and for H1N1 (which we used to call swine flu) may be combined in some vaccines or given separately. Flu mist is inhaled through the nose.

Soon there may even be a flu patch.

"Our vision is that the microneedle patch for flu vaccination is something that can be self-administered. That someone could go to the pharmacy or even get a patch in the mail, stick it on the skin, peel it off, throw it away and be done with their flu shot,” said Dr. Mark Prausnitz, one of the researchers developing this patch.

While that patch is being developed you need to know who needs which vaccine. Here are the guidelines:

People who should not get any form of flu vaccine:

  • Children under 6 months of age
  • Anyone who is allergic to eggs since the vaccine is made in an egg base

The following need the combination vaccine which contains protection against regular and H1N1 flu:

  • All children over 6 months
  • Pregnant women
  • Health workers
  • Anyone with immune or other illnesses

People over 60 may only need the regular or seasonal flu vaccine because studies show they are at low risk for H1N1.

Since the inhaled form called Flu Mist contains live vaccine and can cause more side effects than the shot itself, it is only for people aged 2-49.

The vaccines should be available by late September. Ask your Doctor which is right for you.
You can get advice about vaccines, free medical tests and exams at the 4 Your Health Fair September 17 and 18 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

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