Flu Vaccine

Information + where to get the shot in Fairfield County


2013 was an especially bad flu season, and though the season can run from October to May, if you haven’t gotten sick yet there is still time to get a shot in before we find out if this year will be another whopper. Be on the lookout for a shot called a “quadrivalent” vaccine (available as both a shot and mist) that protects against the three typed of flu in the “trivalent” vaccine and an additional influenza B variety. The vaccine work still works in the traditional way, causing antibodies to develop about two weeks after vaccination. 

There is still a chance of contracting the flu even with the vaccination as there are many strains of the virus and various levels of effectiveness depending on the person being vaccinated. Still not sure? Dr. Kenneth Backman at Allergy and Asthma Care of Fairfield County gave us some more information to help take the guesswork out of the flu shot.

Where in the area can you get them?

I would normally direct patients to their own doctor. You can also get them at:

How do you prepare for the shot?  

No preparation is necessary. If there is a fear of needles, many physicians offer the FluMist, which is a nasal spray influenza vaccination that has also proven to be effective.

Who SHOULD get a shot?

The latest CDC guidelines recommend that all children over 6 months of age and adults receive influenza vaccinations. It is especially important for those who are at high risk of developing complications if they get sick with the flu. They also note that about 90% of flu-related deaths are in people 65 and older.

The popular wisdom has been that those with egg allergies should avoid the shot altogether, is that true?

While in the past people with egg allergies, have been advised not to receive the flu shot, recent studies have found that virtually all egg allergic patients will tolerate the flu shot without reaction. Patients with egg allergy should speak with their doctor, and if advised, see an allergist regarding this issue. There is now a standard dose trivalent shot available for those with severe allergies as well.

Does the vaccine work right away?

It takes two weeks to become fully effective, so the sooner you get the shot the better!



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