Spotlight

Spotlight

The flu and vaccines: What you need to know

Posted November 30, 2015

The CDC recommends vaccination as soon as vaccines are made available for the flu season, and flu shots are offered through the entire season.

Some common questions that people have about flu vaccination are: Why should I or my family be vaccinated? What should I know about the vaccine? And, Where can I be vaccinated? Here are answers to those important issues this time of year.

Dangers of the Flu

The flu isn’t just any other illness. According to the CDC, seasonal flu-related deaths in the United States range from 3,000 to a high of nearly 49,000. And even when the flu is not the direct cause of death, it can weaken individuals and prompt other illnesses to worsen. This makes people 65 years and older at the highest risk of flu-related death, with young children and infants close behind. Even a healthy person between 6 months and 65 will spend between two and three weeks bedridden with severe cough, aches and chills, fever, and fatigue if infected with the flu virus.

The Vaccine

There are many options for flu vaccination for the 2015-2016 season:

  • Traditional
    This vaccine is grown in eggs (those with egg allergies should speak with their doctor) and targets the three most likely flu strains for the upcoming season. This shot is available via needle or jet injector.
  • High Dose
    This dosage is available for people 65 and older.
  • Egg-Free
    Known as Flublok, this flu vaccine is developed without use of chicken eggs. Its downside is that it has a shorter shelf-life than the traditional vaccine.
  • Nasal Spray
    One of the more popular versions of the vaccine, available to people between the ages of 2 and 49.

When and Where Should I Get Vaccinated?

The CDC recommends vaccination as soon as vaccines are made available for the flu season, and flu shots are offered through the entire season. Use the tool to the right to find where flu vaccines are available in the area; if you are on a mobile device, click here.

Health insurance should cover flu vaccines, though you might have to ask your insurance provider where you can get a vaccine under your plan. The typical vaccine can cost $15 and up at an average drug store.

Remember -- it’s never too early or too late to be vaccinated, and individuals six months and older can be vaccinated.

This story was written for our sponsor, the N.C. Division of Public Health.

4 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Mary Meadows Jan 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Maybe the article was updated, as I am commenting late but it does clearly state that it was sponsored by the NC Division of Public Health.

  • Roy Hinkley Jan 11, 2016
    user avatar

    So....who exactly "sponsored" this content?

    It's labeled as such an article, but there's no sponsor listed at the bottom.

  • Matt Wood Jan 11, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    "seasonal flu-related deaths in the United States range from 3,000 to a high of nearly 49,000. And even when the flu is not the direct cause of death, it can weaken individuals and prompt other illnesses to worsen."

    It kills enough people to cause concern.

  • Kim Plucker Jan 11, 2016
    user avatar

    About time someone admits that the flu does not usually kill you.