Where To Get A Flu Shot
While many workplaces remain closed and may no longer offer the flu shot to employees on-site, there are still plenty of places to get vaccinatedincluding at a primary care physicians or nurse practitioners office, a neighborhood urgent-care clinic, or a local health center. For the closest locations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a handy flu-shot locator. Some pharmacies also offer flu shots, like CVS and Walgreens.
Where’s your safest bet? Thats difficult to generalize. It depends on how each individual venue is run and how crowded it is when you show up. Before you go, call, or check on its website, to make sure there are:
- Mask or face-covering requirements for employees and customers
- Physical distancing strategies
- Thorough cleansing and disinfection protocols
- Good ventilation systems, open windows, or both
Another option to consider is drive-thru vaccination venues.
When a drive-thru is set up well, its safe and convenient, Ruth Carrico, PhD, DNP, APRN, CIC, clinic director of the University of Louisville Vaccine and International Travel Center in Kentucky, tells Verywell. Carrico, who co-authored a new 2020 manual on the topic, says drive-thrus keep people from being in a crowd and allow them to social distance. The vaccine itself takes a mere minute to administer.
Getting A Flu Vaccine: Four Steps
Community care flu shots are available to eligible Veterans who:
- Are enrolled in the VA health care system AND
- Received care through VA from either a VA or community provider within the past 24 monthsNOTE: Second requirement is new for 2021-2022 flu season.
To check your eligibility, Veterans can:
Call 800-MyVA411 , select option 1 , then select option 3 , and then option 1 again .NOTE: The system will check your eligibility for the community urgent care benefit, which includes the flu vaccine.
Contact your local VA medical facility.
Veterans can get a flu shot without prior authorization. Flu vaccines provided include standard , high dose, and preservative-free.
NOTE: Family members and beneficiaries are not eligible. State, age and health-related restrictions may apply. Individuals who are not eligible and receive a flu vaccine may be liable for the cost of the vaccine.
How To Time Your Appointment
Experts emphasize that the most important message to remember is to get vaccinated, whenever that might be, assuming youre not on antibiotics and youre not sick. If you have the luxury of choice, its best to make an appointment ahead of time or ask when is the least busy time for that venue.
Generally speaking, in a doctors office, the first appointment of the day is often best. Without patients ahead of you, the provider is less likely to be running late, which means youre not sitting in the waiting room longer than you have to. If the first appointment is not available, try to find one thats close to it.
New York City pharmacist Elaine Mulhall, PharmD, who provides flu shots at CVS in the Bronx, New York, tells Verywell that on some days there may be more than one nurse practitioner or pharmacist on the premises, and those are the days that youll least likely have to wait.
Some drugstores allow you to make an appointment. At all CVS locations, for instance, you can schedule a time via the CVS Pharmacy app or the pharmacys website, and fill out any paperwork digitally ahead of time, so you can minimize time spent in the waiting area. Walgreens, too, has a location finder for flu shots on its website.
During your appointment, protect yourself from COVID-19 and the flu by:
Recommended Reading: When To Get Your Flu Shot
Moderna Is Developing A Combination Covid
- Two major pharmaceutical companies are working on combination COVID-19 booster and flu vaccines.
- Both Novavax and Moderna announced the news last week.
- Doctors say these types of shots make getting vaccinated more convenient.
Pharmaceutical company Moderna shared last week that it is working on a vaccine that will combine a COVID-19 booster dose with a seasonal flu shot.
The announcement was made during the companys annual research and development day.
Today we are announcing the first step in our novel respiratory vaccine program with the development of a single dose vaccine that combines a booster against COVID-19 and a booster against flu, Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna said in a press release. We believe this is just the beginning of a new age of information-based medicines.
Details on the new vaccine are scarce, but the press release says that the combination vaccine candidate, known as mRNA-1073, combines Modernas COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine candidate.
Moderna also shared that its combination vaccine encodes for the COVID-19 spike protein and the Flu glycoproteins, meaning it targets crucial proteins in both of the viruses.
But theyre not the only pharmaceutical company pursuing this type of shot.
Are All Influenza Vaccines The Same
While all influenza vaccines will protect against the same 4 flu viruses, different influenza vaccines are manufactured differently and different preparations have different indications as licensed by the FDA. In particular, each vaccine is licensed for a specific age range. All recipients should receive a vaccine that is appropriate for their age. In addition, LAIV is not recommended for use in some populations.
People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine that is otherwise appropriate. People who have a history of severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Two completely egg-free flu vaccine options are available: quadrivalent recombinant vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based vaccine.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get A Flu Shot While On Keytruda
When To Get The Flu Shot
Most people contract the influenza virus during flu season,’ which typically lasts from October through March, with most of cases peaking in January. The flu poses risks to people of various ages, ranging from the very young, the very old, to those with compromised immune systems. Here are some things to remember before and after you have your flu shot:
- It takes about 2 weeks for a person to build up immunity after receiving a flu shot . So, ideally, people should get the flu shot about 2 weeks before flu season begins.
- Flu shots are usually only effective for about 6 months, after that it starts to weaken and a person could potentially get the flu even after receiving a flu shot.
- So, despite the early aggressive marketing by retail pharmacies if it’s a long flu season and a person gets a flu shot in August, they would be protected until January.
Cvs Caremark Minuteclinic Beat Goal Of Dispensing 1 Million Flu Shots
WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Monday that its CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic divisions have surpassed the goal of delivering one million flu vaccinations during this falls flu shot season.
The integrated campaign kicked off Oct. 1 and provided vaccinations to consumers at 7,500 scheduled flu shot clinic events in select CVS/pharmacy stores, as well as flu shots on demand at more than 500 MinuteClinic locations throughout 27 states.
MinuteClinic will continue to provide flu shots to adults and children during the CDCs National Influenza Vaccination Week and will continue to do so on a daily basis during the holidays and throughout the flu season, which can run as late as April.
While the company is pleased with the results of the combined efforts of CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic, it continues to stress the importance of obtaining a flu shot.
Right now, flu activity in most parts of the country is sporadic, according to the CDC, so there is still time to obtain a flu shot, said Donna Haugland, chief nursing officer for MinuteClinic. But those who wait too long or choose not to get vaccinated at all risk time away from work, school and other activities and the possibility of hospitalization or an even more serious outcome.
Don’t Miss: Live Flu Vaccine Nasal Spray
Five Things To Know: Getting Vaccinated At Cvs Pharmacy
Across the country, in nearly 10,000 communities nationwide, our customers turn to their local CVS Pharmacy to help lead them on a path to better health, not only through our prescription services, but our innovative assortment of health-focused products and services as well.
One of those services is vaccinations. Administered in all of our retail locations nationwide by a certified immunizer and by a nurse practitioner at our MinuteClinic locations, our vaccination offerings go well beyond the annual influenza shot. And since no appointment for vaccinations is required, CVS Pharmacy is a convenient and reliable place for customers to get CDC-recommended vaccines when and where they need them.
Here are some things to know before heading to a local CVS Pharmacy for a vaccination.
Who Should Avoid The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is very effective, but it isnt right for everyone.
Dont get the vaccine if youve had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient it contains, including egg protein.
You also should avoid the flu vaccine if youve had Guillain-Barré syndrome. In 1976, a swine flu vaccine was linked to an increased risk for Guillain-Barré, which causes the immune system to attack and damage the protective coating around nerve cells.
Guillain-Barré syndrome causes extreme weakness and tingling in the limbs, known as severe peripheral neuropathy. It can be life-threatening in rare cases.
Theres no clear link between the current flu vaccine and Guillain-Barré. If any risk exists, its very small, affecting about 1 out of every 1 million people vaccinated.
The vaccine also isnt recommended for babies under 6 months old because it hasnt been proven safe in infants.
Talk to your doctor if you have a weakened immune system, or if you take medicine to suppress your immune system. You may not respond as well to the vaccine.
If youre sick, you might want to put off the flu shot until you feel better.
Don’t Miss: Flu Shot Safe For Pregnancy
How Is Flublok Made
Flublok® is made by taking the genetic information from one protein of the flu virus and putting it into cultured cells that are grown in stainless steel tanks. These cells then make hundreds of copies of the HA protein, the small piece of the flu virus that is needed for immunity to develop. The proteins are then purified, and packaged into doses of Flublok® influenza vaccine. Each dose offers immunity against the three most commonly circulating virus strains each year, so that recipients receive optimum protection.
Walgreens Announces Comprehensive Flu Shot Program
DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens is gearing up to offer unprecedented access to flu shots, making immunizations available at all Walgreens locations and Take Care Clinics nationwide, as well as Duane Reade stores.
Only one flu shot is required this season, as the 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against H1N1 as well as two other seasonal flu viruses an influenza B and H3N2 virus, Walgreens said. The drug store chain said that it would provide vaccinations during its operating hours at both its retail pharmacies and retail health clinic locations, no appointment necessary. Additionally, all Duane Reade locations will provide flu vaccinations by September, with many already offering immunizations.
State, age and health condition-related restrictions may apply.
We encourage everyone to follow the recommendations, and with flu shots available during nearly all pharmacy and clinic hours at Walgreens, its never been easier, never more convenient and never more accessible, said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. Our expansive network of 25,000 immunizers and other healthcare professionals are there when you need us. By providing quality, affordable, preventive healthcare services like flu shots in communities across America, well again play an important role in helping people stay well throughout the flu season.
Other features and services new to this seasons Walgreens flu shot program include:
You May Like: How To Treat A Toddler With The Flu
Who Can Have Flumist
FluMist delivers the vaccine by spraying it into the nose. Both the flu shot and FluMist offer good protection against the flu. However, some children are not eligible for the nasal spray, particularly those under age 2. and its effectiveness compared with the traditional shot varies from year to year.
FluMist is best for healthy children age 2 and up. Children who are at the highest risk of serious complications if they get influenza need to get the traditional flu shot instead.
Children who should avoid FluMist include those who:
- Have medical conditions including asthma or reactive airway disease, diabetes, chronic heart disease, or chronic lung disease
- Have weakened immune systems
- Are allergic to eggs
What Is The Significance Of Fda Approving Cell
Growing flu viruses in eggs can introduce changes that can cause differences between the viruses in the vaccine and the ones that are circulating. These changes may have important implications for the bodys immune response to vaccination. For example, egg-adapted changes could cause the bodys immune system to produce antibodies that are less effective at preventing disease caused by the specific flu viruses in circulation. FDAs approval of cell-based CVVs for use in cell-based flu vaccines could possibly improve the effectiveness of cell-based flu vaccines.
You May Like: Coricidin Hbp Cold And Flu Dosage
How Is Flublok Different From Other Influenza Vaccines
Most influenza vaccines are made via an extremely complicated process that starts out with fertilized chicken eggs as a culture for the virus. This traditional method is extremely safe and effective however, advanced technologies have arrived on the scene. Flublok® is the only licensed influenza vaccine on the market that does not use eggs, antibiotics, or live influenza virus in any part of the manufacturing process. approval represents a technological advance in the manufacturing of an influenza vaccine, said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDAs Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.1 The approval of Flublok stands as one of the most significant improvements in flu vaccine technology in the past 50 years.2 The vaccine is made via a cutting edge, cell-based technology that is very similar to that used to create cervical cancer vaccines. The FDA has also referred to Flublok as Revolutionary.3 According to Jerry P. Weir, Ph.D., the director of the Division of Viral Products in the FDAs Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Flublok® is an important advance that will supplement egg-based vaccines.3 Flublok® is also preservative-free.
Can I Still Buy Influenza Vaccine For The 2021
Influenza vaccine pre-booking typically occurs between January and March. Some formulations of vaccine should still be available for purchase. Providers should contact distributors and local vendors about remaining supply. In addition, beginning in early October each year, information about manufacturers and distributors who still have influenza vaccine available for sale can be found at .
Updates on the distribution of influenza vaccine doses for the 2021-2022 season will be provided as the season progresses.
Also Check: Getting Flu Vaccine While Sick
Flumist Vs A Flu Shot
Every child should have an annual flu shot to keep them safe during flu season. However, despite the fact that flu vaccination helps kids avoid getting sick, not all eligible kids get a flu vaccine.
One reason is vaccine hesitancy, which is often rooted in misconceptions about the importance or safety of this immunization for children. Another is that most kids don’t like to get a flu shotor any shot, which can make for an unpleasant doctor visit.
Of course, the health of your child is worth them enduring a flu shot. However, a shot is not the only way to get vaccinated against the flu. The FluMist nasal spray flu vaccine is another effective option, providing protection without any ouch.
Both the traditional flu shot and FluMist offer robust protection against getting sick and spreading the flu to loved onesand the larger community. Here’s what you need to know about the flu shot and FluMist to help you decide which one is best for your child.
How Is Flu Vaccine Safety Evaluated
The CDC, Food and Drug Administration , National Institutes of Health , American Academy of Pediatrics , Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices , and National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine have all declared that the use of thimerosal in vaccines is safe and effective.
The safety profile of traditional and preservative-free flu shots is considered equal. Possible side effects of both thimerosal-containing vaccines and preservative-free vaccines include:
- Pain and swelling at the injection site
- Low-grade fever
Side effects are typically mild and resolve within a day or two.
However, if you develop wheezing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, loss of consciousness, or swollen lips, tongue, or throat, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. These could be the signs of a rare and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Don’t Miss: What Ingredients Are In The Flu Shot
Public Health Services & Family Health Centers
Many cities have seasonal events that promote health and wellness in the community. Sometimes they will hold special events offering free flu shots and vaccines to low-income families, the elderly, and others experiencing hard times. In Orange County, free flu shots will be available at the Health Care Agency Flu Clinic. The Orange County Public Health Care Agency offers information on clinics and family care centers, and the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers can help the uninsured find access to free flu shots and other medical care through their clinic locator tool.
What Are The Possible Benefits Of Using Cell
Observational studies have shown greater protection against flu or flu-like illness among people who received Flucelvax compared to those who received standard-dose egg-based vaccines.
A potential advantage of cell culture technology is that it might permit faster start-up of the vaccine manufacturing process in the event of a pandemic. The cells used to manufacture Flucelvax Quadrivalent are kept frozen and banked. Cell banking ensures an adequate supply of cells is readily available for vaccine production. Growing the flu viruses in cell culture for the manufacture of Flucelvax Quadrivalent is not dependent on an egg supply. Cell-based flu vaccines that are produced using CVVs have the potential to be more effective than traditional egg-based flu vaccines.
Also Check: Seasonal Flu Cases Per Year