Flu shot clinics prepare for upcoming season

ALCOA, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The East Tennessee Medical Group in Alcoa opened their month long Flu Shot Clinic Tuesday to get a head start on the upcoming flu season.

Dr. Darryl Riegel said "When flu season starts it starts very abruptly and quickly. Most people are surprised and have little warning to get vaccinated. That's why we like to get started early."

Every year, scientists spend months researching and developing a new flu vaccination that will protect people from different strains. However, it's hard to predict when we'll see a flu outbreak in the area.

"Flu shots are now effective for an entire year; before it was only effective for about 90 days."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone gets a flu shot especially those with asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease; pregnant women; people 65 years and older; and people who spend time with children and seniors.

Those who should not get vaccinated are people allergic to chicken eggs, children younger than 6 months old, people with a fever, or have a history of Guillain Barre Syndrome.

There are two different types of flu vaccines; the flu shot and the nasal-spray flu vaccine or flu mist. The CDC defines the flu shot as an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.

The CDC defines the flu mist as a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that is given as a nasal spray (sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine”). The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu. LAIV is approved for use in healthy people 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

For more information about the Seasonal Flu Vaccine visit the link below.


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