Flu season generally runs into the springtime of each year. Given how tough a season this has been, we are hopeful that the number of patients with the flu will start trending downward. It’s still not too late to get the flu vaccine! We have a limited supply for infants and toddlers ages 6 months to 35 months, and also a small amount for older children who qualify under the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program. Children 9 years of age and older can obtain a flu shot at their local neighborhood pharmacy store, and all families can contact their city’s public health clinic for availability.
You may have heard in the news that this year’s flu vaccine might not be a “good match” to what will be circulating in the community. However, the Centers for Disease Control has published the following reply on their FAQ website:
Can the flu vaccine provide protection even if the flu vaccine is not a “good” match?
“Yes, antibodies made in response to vaccination with one flu virus can sometimes provide protection against different but related flu viruses. A less than ideal match may result in reduced vaccine effectiveness against the flu virus that is different from what is in the flu vaccine, but it can still provide some protection against flu illness.
In addition, it’s important to remember that the flu vaccine contains three or four flu viruses (depending on the type of vaccine you receive) so that even when there is a less than ideal match or lower effectiveness against one virus, the flu vaccine may protect against the other flu viruses.
For these reasons, even during seasons when there is a less than ideal match, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. Vaccination is particularly important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, and their close contacts.”