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Flu Vaccine Update & FAQ

Poway Office Patients:

Flu shots are now available at the time of your regularly scheduled primary care physician appointment. 

Ramona Office Patients:

Flu shots are now available at the time of your regularly scheduled primary care physician appointment.  Ramona flu shot appointments begin on October 6th and may be scheduled on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30 am or 2:00 to 4:00 pm. 

Who should get the seasonal flu shot?

Everyone over 6 months old. To protect those under 6 months old, it is recommended that all people in contact with those children be vaccinated.

What seasonal flu vaccines are available?

There are 2 basic types of flu vaccine – the inactivated virus shot and the attenuated live virus nasal spray.

What type of vaccine is Arch Health Partners offering?

The seasonal flu shot.

Why isn’t Arch Health Partners providing the “high dose” shot?

The CDC approved the “high dose” vaccine as being “safe to administer” for people 65 and older for this year’s flu season. However, the CDC did not recommend the “high dose” vaccine over the regular vaccine. Furthermore, the CDC required the manufacturer to conduct studies to prove that the “high dose” shot is more effective than the regular shot. Those studies have not been finished, and are due to be completed probably in 2012. The “high dose” vaccine has a much higher incidence of side effects. Because the “high dose” shot has a much higher rate of side effects, is not preferred by the CDC, and lacks proof that it works better than the regular seasonal shot, Arch Health Partners has decided to wait to offer the high dose vaccine until more data becomes available.

Why is Arch Health Partners offering the shot and not the nasal spray?

Most people prefer the shot, and it can be given to a much wider range of people. For example, the shot can be given to high risk people like pregnant women, people over 65, and children between 6 and 24 months old, whereas the nasal vaccine can not.

When should I not receive the vaccine?

Do not get the flu shot if you have a history of an allergic reaction to eggs and/or flu vaccine. If you are moderately to severely ill, we recommend waiting until it resolves, or discuss it with your doctor. Mild to moderately ill people can still get the vaccine. Also, if you have had Guillain-Barré syndrome, you will need to discuss the vaccine with your doctor.

Does the shot protect against H1N1 (swine flu)?

Yes, this year’s vaccine has incorporated last year’s H1N1 strain.

If I got the H1N1 vaccine last year, should I still get this year’s seasonal flu shot?

Yes.

Where can I get more information?

Contact your physician, or review the CDC Web site http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm