Preparations for another flu season are underway and among changes nationwide is that only injectable flu shots are recommended for use this season.
Lisa Perkins is the immunization program manager at the Bear River Health Department. She said flu mist won’t be available this year.
“Research showed evidence of poor effectiveness over the last several influenza seasons with nasal spray flu vaccine. This is an interim recommendation, it may change again next season.”
The CDC said flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
“A couple of years ago the match didn’t target some of the strains we were seeing across the country, as well as in Utah,” said Perkins. “Last year they changed a couple of the strains that seemed to target what we were seeing. We are hopeful this year that it will continue to be a good match.”
Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses and some protect against four flu viruses.
“The current vaccine the health department is carrying is a quadrivalent type, which is the four-strain. It protects you against two influenza-A viruses as well as two influenza-B viruses. It provides better protection.”
It is very difficult to predict the extent of each flu season.
“That is true. Right now we are trying to get everyone vaccinated. The CDC is emphasizing everyone over six months get vaccinated, so that we have an immunity when flu season really kicks in, which is usually late-October to the beginning of November. The flu shot is still the number one way of preventing getting the flu.”
Perkins said vaccines are available now at the Bear River Health Department.
“You can come in anytime, without an appointment, Monday through Friday. We do accept most insurances and the cost is $25.”