Which flu vaccine is right for me?

Although peak flu season usually hits in February, it’s already started. So we want you to be protected! Did you know there are multiple flu vaccines? Knowing your options can help you make informed decisions about your preventative health.


  1. Seasonal (trivalent): This is the most common vaccine and is what Dr. Patel offers in his office, unless otherwise specified. It offers protection against 3 strains — 2 influenza A viruses (H1N1 and N3N2) and one B strain. Adults and children over 6 months old are candidates for this vaccine.


  1. Quadravalent: As its name indicates, this shot protects against 4 flu strains — 2 influenza A and 2 influenza B viruses. Like the seasonal vaccine, this shot is also recommended for those over 6 months of age and up. A nasal spray is available and is recommended for those 2-49, and especially for healthy children (those with no underlying conditions) ages 2-8.


  1. High Dose Trivalent: Since our immune system weakens with age, older people are at greater risk of severe illness from the flu. This vaccine offers a stronger dose to give people age 65 and over a higher level of protection.


Dr. Patel has conferred with infectious disease specialists, and the seasonal (trivalent) flu shot is the one they recommend. Children under 6 months old are too young for the flu shot. Those who are allergic to eggs, gelatin, antibiotics or other ingredients in the vaccine and those who are not feeling well should consult with their doctor prior to getting the flu shot.


The flu kills about 36,000 people a year in the United States, according to the CDC. Those at high risk include young children, adults over 65, pregnant women and Native Americans. People with medical conditions like asthma, lung disease, heart disease and weakened immune systems are also at risk. Don’t put yourself at risk. You don’t need an appointment at our office to get the flu shot. Stop in and we can discuss which flu vaccine is right for you. It’s early in the season, so we still have plenty of supply on-hand. Pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS and Osco also offer the flu shot for your convenience.