October 8, 2011

October 8, 2011
Afraid of needles?

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and I hope your weekend is off to a safe and great start. It is another busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Yesterday, I blogged about the two types of flu shots. I received several replies where people hate or are afraid of needles. So do you have an option?

The main selling point of Fluzone Intradermal (listed at about $15.50) is that its very short, slender needle merely pricks the skin a painless, simple to administer micro-injection that maker Sanofi Pasteur hopes will find widespread acceptance and help increase flu vaccination rates.

Because the injection goes into the skin, an area rich with cells that play an important role in immune response, it produces about the same antibody response as the standard shot, but with 40 percent less active ingredient. That could prove a boon in any year when vaccine is in short supply.

The CDC recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine, except in a very few cases like a severe allergy to eggs. This program for nearvuniversal vaccination was introduced last flu season, when manufacturers shipped a record number of doses to US pharmacies and doctors' offices.

Even though the flu season does not usually peak until late January or early February, people should get the 2011 - 2012 vaccine as soon as it is available in their location.

The shot provides immunity against the same three strains of influenza as last year's vaccine. Public health authorities predict these strains, including the 2009 pandemic swine flu strain, will predominate again this flu season. CDC officials say that because vaccine induced immunity wanes over the course of a year, those vaccinated last year need to get another flu shot this season.

Getting vaccinated is the cornerstone of flu prevention, says Nichol, but it is not perfect and will not protect everyone equally.

For those who may not get complete immunity from the vaccine, it is key for other people in the community coworkers, grandchildren, health care personnel to be vaccinated also, both for their own protection and to prevent the spread of flu germs. And the old advice remains some of the best: In addition to getting vaccinated, wash your hands frequently, cover your cough, stay home when you are sick and avoid exposure to others who are sick.

Hope this information helps you during the upcoming flu season. Have a great weekend.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab