By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4) – It’s about a week into fall and just days away from flu season, which is considered October to May. Health officials say now is the time to get immunized.
There are about 157 to 168 million doses of influenza vaccine expected to be available. This year, the only option is a shot.
Dr. Miguel Mogyoros with Kaiser Permanente Colorado is getting set for the season with his flu shot. The infectious disease physician got a high-dose vaccine recommended for people 65 and older.
“We don’t know if we’re going to have an epidemic this year. We don’t know that in advance, but it’s good to be prepared,” said Mogyoros.
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There’s a choice of vaccines this year. Some are trivalent, effective against two “A” strains and one “B” strain expected to hit the U.S. this flu season. Other vaccines are quadrivalent, targeting the three strains and an additional “B.”
Those who are afraid of shots will need to be brave. This season, flu mist isn’t an option.
“The Centers for Disease Control recommend this year not to use the flu mist because in two of the past three flu seasons the mist was shown to be ineffective,” said Adam Jackson, Infectious Disease Clinical Pharmacy Specialist with Kaiser Permanente Colorado.
Jackson says everyone over the age of 6 months should get the flu shot.
“You absolutely cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” he said.
If you’re 65 or older, the CDC recommends two pneumococcal vaccines given in a series to prevent certain types of bacterial infections that can cause meningitis and pneumonia.
“You absolutely cannot get pneumonia from that shot,” said Jackson.