Anyone who wishes to evade a bad bout of the flu will have several options when it comes to proactive measures this season. Several hospitals and pharmacies have started offering quadrivalent vaccines, a new type of flu shot that protects against four strains of influenza, which is one more than the traditional trivalent vaccine.
“It’s your best defense,” Tracy Stieglitz, infection control manager at Washington Hospital, said of the flu shot. Washington Hospital offers the traditional and quadrivalent flu shots, in addition to an egg-free shot for adults with allergies and intramuscular and intradermal vaccines.
“There’s a lot to choose from,” Stieglitz said. “You just have to talk to your health-care provider.”
Stieglitz said the right time to get a flu shot is now, but she advises patients to check with a physician to see which type of vaccine is best for the individual. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone who is 6 months of age or older. Washingon Hospital administers five to 10 flu tests a month, and so far there have been no confirmed cases of the flu, Stieglitz said.
Healthy Directions, located inside Finleyville Giant Eagle, also will be offering quadrivalent vaccines this year in addition to the trivalent vaccine, according to a Monongahela Valley Hospital news release. Children might be more likely than adults to receive the quadrivalent shot because they are more susceptible to the newest strain of influenza.
“This four-in-one vaccine is so new that it makes up only a fraction of the nation’s supply of vaccine,” Michelle Antanovich, CRNP, clinical lead at the walk-in medical center, said in the release. “It is recommended that anyone who wants a dose of the quadrivalent vaccine get their shots early.”