Itís a quick prick to protect yourself from the flu all season long, but not all flu vaccines are the same. Annual flu shots are available as a trivalent shot and quadrivalent shot. Trivalent vaccines protect against three strains of flu, while quadrivalent protects against four strains of the virus. At Panhandle Health District, experts recommend the quadrivalent high-dose vaccine for seniors 65 years of age and older. Quadrivalent flu vaccines are also preferred for healthy adults and children.
All flu vaccines protect against A and B influenza strains. A-strains of the flu can be transmitted between humans and animals, and are generally responsible for large flu epidemics. B-strains on the other hand, are found only in humans and usually provoke less severe reactions, and do not cause pandemics. Each year, we see both types of flu throughout North Idaho. Both trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines will reduce your risk of getting sick from the flu and curb any flu symptoms.
Whichever vaccine you and your physician decide is best for you, itís most important to get vaccinated soon. Protecting yourself before the peak of the season will ensure better protection from sickness. The Care Plus clinic at Panhandle Health District have quadrivalent vaccines available now.
LISA HYLSKY, BSN
Panhandle Health District