Flu Season is Ramping Up For The Holidays

Most pharmacies offer several FDA approved flu vaccines

If you have been planning to get your flu shot, it's time to act now, especially if you hope to be protected before the winter holidays.

The flu season isn't like Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. There isn't a fixed start date.

Influenza viruses circulate around the world all year round.

At an undefined point during the winter season, the flu virus launches a major attack on anyone unprotected.

The United States alone sees 140,000 to 710,000 influenza-related hospitalizations and 12,000 to 56,000 deaths each year, with the highest burden of disease affecting the very young, the very old, and people with coexisting medical conditions.

According to the early December 2017 FluView report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the seasonal influenza activity has increased slightly in the United States.

The proportion of people seeing their health care provider for influenza-like-illness has been at or above the national baseline for two weeks this season.

FluView reports that during October 1–November 25, 2017, clinical laboratories tested 135,202 specimens for influenza virus, with 3.7% of the specimens testing positive for influenza virus.

The influenza A (H3N2) viruses was most commonly reported (73%) during week 48 and have been the predominant virus so far this season.

Seven states reported widespread flu activity. To see how your state is currently doing, please visit this CDC webpage.

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Additionally, if you are planning to travel overseas, the World Health Organization publishes influenza information.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get an injectable flu vaccine as soon as possible.

People 65 years and older can get any injectable flu shot, that is approved for use in that age group.

This includes cell-based, recombinant and flu shots made using traditional egg-based manufacturing processes.

There are two vaccines designed specifically for people 65 and older. A high dose vaccine and an adjuvant vaccine.

Most pharmacies in the USA offer several FDA approved flu vaccines.

The flu shot cost varies depending on your insurance and which state you live.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here.