Most years, flu season lasts approximately 13 weeks, starting in October or November—generally reaching its apex in January or February—then, tapering off through the end of April and sometimes May. The basic rule of thumb is to get vaccinated by the end of October. That gives antibodies in the immune system the four-to-six weeks they need to reach full strength just ahead of the arrival of three-to-four-month-long winter season.
The best defense is a good offense. The CDC reports nearly 3.5 billion doses of vaccines were administered in the U.S. between 2006 and 2017. And yet, the implied financial impact hardly scratches the surface of how valuable prevention efforts can be. Some estimates suggest every $1 invested in flu shot preparation translates to as much as $10 in societal value, as well as several million fewer deaths around the world.
Prevention is the most effective way to stay healthy
Who can get the flu shot?
The flu shot is typically administered on the arm (muscle) with a needle. Everyone 6 months or older should get the flu shot each year to prevent getting the virus, however for Benzer’s Immunization Program you must be 12 years or older to be eligible.
Types of Flu Shots offered at Benzer Pharmacy
Keep your “eggs” in the right basket.
Traditional, egg-based flu vaccines have been used safely for more than 75 years, but like with any rule, certain
exceptions apply. Being that mild fevers, fatigue, and discomfort can sometimes surface as allergic reactions to egg-
based formulations, cell-based vaccine viruses have been developed as alternatives.
The CDC explains cell-based flu shots are manufactured using animal cells in place of fertilized chicken eggs, which
not-so-ironically, does two important things: it may make the vaccine more effective, enabling it to act more like the
“wild” viruses in circulation; and, it eliminates any shortfall should the supply of eggs run thin.
Currently, Flucelvax is the only cell-based flu vaccine licensed for use in the U.S.
A higher dose “does it” for most seniors.
According to the CDC, high dose flu shots of the trivalent variety are generally recommended for people over the age of 65, who typically, have weaker immune systems. As such, they require four times the antigens of the standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccine to get the same level of protection as their younger counterparts.
One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that high-dose vaccines were 24.2 percent more effective in preventing the flu when compared to a standard regimen. Fluzone is one brand proven effective against influenza A (H1N1) and influenza A (H3N2), as well as the influenza B virus.
Benzer Pharmacy offers both Fluzone and FLUAD vaccines targeting subtypes A and type B.
Four personal reasons to go “Quadrivalent.”
Over time, experts in the manufacture of trivalent vaccines had an important choice to make in singling out one of two potential influenza B virus lineages most likely to circulate during any known flu season. In that regard, there was always a risk that the decision might leave some people more vulnerable than others.
In response, researchers developed quadrivalent formations designed to protect against all four strains of the flu virus; specifically, the two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Adding the second B virus to the equation simply offers broader protection across the board without the drawbacks.
Advancing the cause with “Adjuvanted” flu shots.
Given certain conditions, family practice physicians and/or clinically trained pharmacists may recommend adjuvanted flu shots for specific patients. An adjuvant, as the CDC defines it, is an ingredient used in some vaccines to help create a stronger immune response in people receiving the vaccine.
Common, safely used adjuvants for more than 70 years include aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, and aluminum potassium sulfate. In all cases, vaccines containing adjuvants are clinically tested before they are licensed for use in the United States, and they are continuously monitored by CDC and FDA once they are approved.
Ask your Benzer pharmacist if an adjuvant is right for you.
Get the Shot, at your Local Benzer
Walk-ins are always welcome
Most major insurances accepted
Always use an ounce (or more) of protection. If you can stop the spread of germs before it starts, you’ll put yourself that much more ahead of the game. In that regard, making a regular habit out of using hand sanitizers and keeping surfaces in the home clean are prerequisites of every flu survival strategy.
Nothing to fear, but the flu itself. Although a voluntary needle-poke in the arm isn’t on anyone’s wish list, there are more than enough good reasons to not decline it. Healthy people who haven’t had the flu in years might think they are immune to its return. On one hand, that’s true—but it only applies to the particular strain of the virus they had in the past—not the ones that continue to mutate and strengthen year-after-year.
Stock-up on the latest, most effective cold and flu products!
Other Vaccines Offered at Select Benzer Pharmacies
Get reliable, local healthcare and wellness advice and services, including:
• Clear information about medications – as relates to their specific circumstances
• Support for regimens (especially complex and/or involving multiple components)
• Pursue health and wellness with a trusted, local provider who
• Knows the patient, including history and unique circumstances
• Can provide individualized support for better outcomes
• Access affordable pricing for medications (especially meds not covered by insurance or available in generic form)