The seasonal flu vaccination campaigns for Boulder Community Health and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are currently underway,
and now is the perfect time for you to get your flu shot.
Although the influenza season in Australia has been severe, experts are
not making predictions about how severe this flu season will be in the
Here are three ways you and your family can avoid influenza this season:
1. Everyone should get a flu shot (excluding children less than six-months-old,
someone with a life-threatening reaction to one of the ingredients of
the vaccine or an individual with a history of Guillain–Barré syndrome)
It’s not too early or too late. It takes your body about two weeks
to develop a response to the vaccine, so earlier vaccination is key.
"All regular dose flu vaccines will be quadrivalent, which means they
are designed to protect against four different flu viruses - two influenza
A viruses and two influenza B viruses,” said Dr. Amie Meditz, infectious
diseases and internal medicine physician, of Beacon Center for Infectious
Diseases. “Previously, the main regular dose vaccine available protected
against three viruses.”
Remember that when you get a flu vaccine, you are also protecting those
around you who may be harmed by the flu. Dr. Meditz stresses that adults
over 65-years-old, anyone with a chronic medical condition, pregnant women,
and health care workers are at “particular risk for more severe
disease and complications relating to influenza.”
If you don’t get your shot in the fall, you are still encouraged
to get the shot throughout the entire influenza season, which can last
into March or April.
2. Stop the spread of germs. You can do this by washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding close
contact with sick people, and covering your nose and mouth when you cough
3. If you do come down with the flu, your primary care provider will help
you decide if you would benefit from a flu anti-viral drug.
If you are prescribed an anti-viral drug, make sure to take it as directed by your doctor.
Getting Your Flu Shot at BCH
To schedule a convenient time to receive a flu shot, contact your BCH primary
care clinic or call 303-415-4015 to schedule an appointment.
The nasal spray flu vaccine is available again this year, but there are
no published studies of effectiveness, according to Dr. Meditz.
“Per the CDC website, this vaccine can be used in individuals who
do not have a compromised immune system, including children over two-years-old
and non-pregnant adults up to 49-years-old,” she said.
Effectiveness of This Year’s Flu Vaccine
Each year, there are a variety of reasons why the vaccine is not a perfect
match. According to Dr. Meditz, the influenza viruses are selected months
before the season; the way the vaccine is produced can affect how well
the viruses match; and changes can occur in the circulating viruses during
While it’s too early for any reports or predictions about whether
the 2019-20 influenza quadrivalent vaccine will be a match for the circulating
influenza viruses this year in the United States, Dr. Meditz says this
should not discourage you from getting the flu vaccine.
“You could be exposed to a strain that does not match up with the
vaccine this season,” she said. “However, studies have shown
that people who are vaccinated have fewer complications than those who