WUFT News

‘The More The Better': Flu Vaccines Now Cover Fourth Influenza Strain

By on September 24th, 2013
A Gainesville resident receives at a local CVS pharmacy his flu shot, which contains the newest four-strain protection.

Garrett Bruno / WUFT News

A Gainesville resident receives at a local CVS pharmacy his flu shot, which contains the newest four-strain protection.

This season, influenza vaccination is not just a choice between a spray or a shot, but also a choice of whether to be protected against three or four strains of the virus.

Until this season, seasonal influenza vaccines only protected against two strains of influenza A — which causes most of the more severe cases — and one strain of influenza B.

Now, drug makers are distributing a vaccine that will protect against a second strain of influenza B, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“CDC bases what they put in the flu vaccine on the previous year’s exposure of the most common types of the flu virus,” said Michael Smith, immunization coordinator for the Alachua County Health Department. “So this year, they actually have two different types of flu vaccine.”

Called quadrivalent vaccines, the new protections will mostly benefit children, who are more susceptible to the added strain, according to the CDC.

The choices don’t stop there. A flu vaccine is also being distributed for those who are allergic to eggs — the medium through which vaccines are usually created and incubated.

Flu season technically begins Oct. 1 and peaks around February, but can sometimes remain active until May. Getting an annual flu shot is recommended by federal health officials because about 24,000 Americans die from the flu each year, according to the CDC.

Trenton resident Stacy Myers said she decided to go to the pharmacy to get a flu shot because a lot of her friends have gotten stick.

“I didn’t realize the vaccine covers more strains, but I guess that’s a good thing. The more the better, right?” Myers said.

Last year, Alachua County’s nationally recognized FluMist program administered 13,000 doses of vaccine to county students and vaccinated 61 percent of students against the influenza virus. This year, the program will incorporate the newest four-strain coverage vaccine, Smith said.

“Basically, the mist and the injectable for children will contain four strands of the most common viruses and for the adults, we only carry three strands of the virus,” Smith said.

Vaccinations are also available on a walk-in basis at most pharmacies, including CVS pharmacy, Publix pharmacy, Winn-Dixie pharmacy and Walmart pharmacy.

Jennifer Sendler, a pharmacist at CVS pharmacy, said CVS pharmacists are specially trained to vaccinate anyone who wants to get the flu shot.

“It’s quick and painless and relatively cheap,” Sendler said.

The vaccine costs $25 through the Alachua County Health Department. If a person has Medicare Part B, there is no charge. Those between the ages of 6 months and 18 years who are uninsured or have Medicaid may receive the vaccine for free on a walk-in basis.

“For the amount of protection you’re getting, the vaccine really is priceless,” Sendler said.


This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • jon

    Not sure how many times I have turned my signal on and waited to see what the car behind on the left will do. Only to see them buried in the text message at 70+ on the interstate.

    Cars are by far the BIGGEST danger on the road with the carelessness and amount of texting folks are doing. Yet trucks are the one targeted.

    http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/outreach/Unsafe-Driving-Acts.aspx

 

More Stories in Health and Science

UF Study Shows Grape Seed Oil Can Reduce Obesity

A new study has found that muscadine grape seed oil can help reduce obesity. Containing a vitamin E derivative, the oil can help prevent the formation of new fat cells.


Columbia County Upgrading Plumbing To Conserve Springs

The Columbia County Water Conservation project encourages commercial buildings to decrease water usage by upgrading to high efficiency plumbing models. This project will reduce the amount of water used per flush in a toilet, which can save about 90,000 gallons each day and 32.8 gallons per year.


Boil water

Precautionary Boil Water Notice Lifted For Marion County

Marion County Utilities issued a precautionary boil water warning Tuesday after water pressure levels dropped below the average rate. That notice has since been lifted following the completion of a biological survey showing the water was safe to drink again.


Taylor Dole, 23, bakes chocolate chai biscotti to distract her nerves the day before her thesis defense.

University Of Florida Services Offer Help For Anxiety

A growing number of college students deal with anxiety that impacts their daily life. School and social stressors cause many to struggle, but counseling, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy can help.


The completed henna design on Lilia Lima's head is entirely free-handed by artist and pre-med student Jeena Karr. Safe, beautiful and fresh, the art gives cancer patients like Lima a new way to feel beautiful.

Henna Artist Gives Cancer Patients Crowns Of Beauty

A University of Florida student combines faith and spirituality with the ancient art of henna to comfort cancer patients. Jeena Kar uses henna paste made from the flowering plant, Lawsonia inermis, to create intricate designs on the heads of those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments