Flu shot options abound, but what's the difference? - KMSP-TV

Flu shot options abound, but what's the difference?

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 45 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 months or older received the flu vaccine during the 2012-13 season.

BY THE NUMBERS

-45% of the U.S. population 6 months or older got a flu vaccine last year
-5.1% more children were vaccinated last year compared to the 2011-12 season
-2.7% more adults were vaccinated last year compared to the 2011-12 season
-56.6% of children ages 6 months to 17 years were vaccinated last year
-41.5% of adults age 18 and over were vaccinated last year
-Flu vaccination coverage was higher among females for every age group except adults over 65 years of age
-47.2% of all females were vaccinated last year
-42.7% of all males were vaccinated last year


WHY THE HYPE?

More and more Americans are choosing to be vaccinated, but the CDC says we can do better, which means offering more options.

We now have an unprecedented number of vaccine options to choose from: The regular shot, the nasal spray, an egg-free shot for those allergic to eggs, a high-dose shot just for those 65 and older and a tiny-needle shot for the squeamish. However, those account for a very small number of the regular flu shots.

Should we switch to the nasal option? The FluMist nasal vaccine will protect against four strains of influenza rather than the traditional three. Last year's severe flu season had people scrambling at the last minute for flu shots, but because it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, doctors want to get the word out now for the public to get the shot. January and February typically are the peak flu months in the U.S., but small numbers of flu cases circulate for much of the year.

Then, there are those that hold off from any sort of flu vaccine for fear of getting sick.

On FOX @ 9, we'll speak to Dr. Wendy Slattery, an infection disease specialist with Allina, about what this season's flu strains could bring and what you need to know to protect yourself.

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