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It’s that time again!  Time for your flu shots, that is.  We’ve received several general inquiries regarding the flu and the specific flu shots GROW has available.  Read below to find out more.

Why get the flu shot

The flu shot is one of the best defenses to protect you and other family members from getting sick this year.  In addition to helping prevent the virus, it also can help reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization and disease severity if you happen to get sick.  Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but also those around you, including babies and people with chronic health conditions who are unable to be vaccinated (Frequently Asked Questions, CDC).

When to get the flu shot

It takes about two weeks for your body to build flu fighting antibodies.  There is nothing to “save up for;” the earlier in the season the better (Frequently Asked Questions, CDC)!

Who can get the flu shot

Babies over 6 months of age are eligible to receive the vaccination, including pregnant women.  Children and adults with chronic health conditions should consult with their provider whether they’re eligible (Frequently Asked Questions, CDC).

FUN FACT: Pregnant women pass on their flu-fighting antibodies to their babies in utero, thus helping to protect newborns too young to be vaccinated. (Swanson, 2017)

“But I’ve still come down with the flu after getting vaccinated.”

It’s true, attaining your flu shot does not guarantee a flu free winter.  BUT, scientists and researchers work hard to match the vaccine with adapting strains, and the CDC reports flu vaccination effectiveness between 40-60% each year (Frequently Asked Questions, CDC).

“My child is allergic to eggs.  Can they still get vaccinated?”

Recommendations have changed this year, and children with egg allergies are ok to receive the flu vaccination at their health provider’s office (Frequently Asked Questions, CDC).

“Will I get the flu from the flu shot?”

No!  The vaccinations are inactivated, not live, therefore unable to replicate in ones body (Swanson, 2017).  The most common side effects are pain at the injection site, and younger children may a low-grade fever or feel fussy.

Some more details…

  • GROW is supplying a quadrivalent vaccination which protects against 2 strains of Influenza A and 2 strains of Influenza B.
  • Children between 6 months and 8 years of age will receive two vaccinations UNLESS they’ve received two or more doses of flu vaccine before July 1, 2017 (Frequently Asked Questions, 2017).
  • GROW’s patients will receive a thimersol free vaccination, while parents will receive flu vaccine from a multi-dose vial (which does contain preservatives).
  • Only the flu shot is available this year, not the nasal spray (Frequently, Asked Questions, CDC).
  • You can be mildly sick, with a temperature under 102, and still receive the flu vaccination.

Here is a link to a free mobile app from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia called “Vaccines on the Go.”  It’s a wealth of information on all vaccines at your fingertips!


Frequently Asked Questions Flu Questions 2017-2018 Influenza Season.”

Centers for Disease Control.

Swanson, Wendy Sue.  “10 Things to Know about the 2017-2018 Flu Shot.”  Seattle

Mama Doc.

“Thimersol in Flu Vaccine.”  Centers for Disease Control.

“Why get a Flu Vaccine?”  Centers for Disease Control.

Post Written by Nurse Avery