Q: Why get vaccinated against the flu?
A: Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
Q: How do flu vaccines work?
A: Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.
Q: What kinds of flu vaccines are available?
A: Traditional flu vaccines (called trivalent vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1 N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. In addition, this season, 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 as well as an additional B virus.
Q: When should I get vaccinated?
A: Flu vaccination should begin soon after the vaccine becomes available, ideally by October.
Q: Does the flu vaccine work right away?
A: No. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated now before the flu season really gets underway.
Q: Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?
A: A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with changing flu viruses.
Q: Who should get vaccinated this season?
A: Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. Especially important for:
- People who are at high risk of developing serious complications, like pneumonia.
- People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
- Pregnant women
- People younger than 5 years (and especially those younger than 2), and people 65 years and older
- People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications
- Household contacts and caregivers of people with infants younger than 6 months old, and those with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
- Healthcare personnel
Q: Who should not be vaccinated?
- Children younger than 6 months old
- If you are feeling ill with or without a fever
- If you have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu shot
- If you have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Q: Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?
A: No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the flu vaccine is made from inactivated viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious
Q: What insurance does Cannon Pharmacy accept & what is the flu vaccine copay?
A: Check with Cannon’s friendly staff to find out specific coverage details. Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans have a $0 copay. Medicaid recipients must go through their doctor’s office, local health department, or pay out of pocket.
Q: Does our flu shot contain preservatives?
A: No, our flu shot is preservative-free.