Information for 2017-2018
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications. This page summarizes information for the 2017-2018 flu season.
What viruses will the 2017-2018 flu vaccines protect against?
There are many flu viruses, and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common. For 2017-2018, three-component vaccines are recommended to contain:
- an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
- a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
Four-component vaccines, which protect against a second lineage of B viruses, are recommended to be produced using the same viruses recommended for the trivalent vaccines, as well as a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.
We will be giving the Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine this fall. A high dose vaccine will be available for those 65 and over. It is marginally more effective and does not appear to have any greater risk of side effects. If you have a scheduled appointment this fall, we will give it then. Otherwise, you can call to schedule an appointment. The optimal time is late October and early November. Think pumpkins when thinking of the optimal time. It is readily available, so if it is more convenient for you to get it at your pharmacy, work or school, it is fine to get it there.
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Words written in italic are directly from Mark L. Thornton, M.D., F.A.C.P.