2018-2019 Flu Season FAQ

Student getting flu shot

What sort of flu season is expected this year? 

  • It is not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one flu season to the other.
  • Flu viruses are constantly changing, so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year.
  • Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November, and peaks between December and February, and can last as late as May. There have already been confirmed cases of the flu in Iowa. 

Woman getting flu shotWhat’s new this flu season? 

  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
  • Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common.
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine is again an option for use in nonpregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years of age. There is a precaution against use for people with certain underlying medical conditions.

What should I do to protect myself and others from the flu this season? 

  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
  • Take preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs.
  • If you are sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others.

When should I get vaccinated? 

CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October.  Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against the flu to develop in the body.

What flu vaccines are recommended this season? 

Can I get a flu vaccine if I’m allergic to eggs? 

Yes, individuals allergic to eggs can get any licensed flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health. However, the vaccine should be given in a medical setting and be supervised by a healthcare provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions. An appropriate setting is a physician’s office or medical clinic.

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