CRAWFORD COUNTY- After tracking the Australian flu season that spans from May to September in the Southern Hemisphere, health officials are anticipating a really bad flu season for the Northern Hemisphere as well. Getting vaccinated against the flu is still the single best way to protect yourself and your family from getting sick from the flu. In Ohio, it is recommended to get vaccinated by the end of October. Your body needs roughly two weeks to develop enough antibodies to protect against the flu.
Crawford County Public Health offers the community three options of flu vaccine: Fluzone Quadrivalent, Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, and Flublok. All are FDA approved and designed to protect against four different flu viruses anticipated by the World Health Organization: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Having four strains in the vaccine aims to give broader protection against circulating flu viruses. None of the flu vaccines being offered contain live flu viruses.
Health Commissioner Kate Siefert states, “Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of developing severe illness or complications from influenza. Specific high-risk groups include adults age 65 and older, people with diabetes, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, young children, people who have cancer, and people with asthma and other chronic conditions. We also want to remind people it’s important to obtain the flu vaccine even if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Neither will protect you from the other – the flu vaccine will not protect you from COVID and the COVID vaccines will not protect you from the flu.”
Anyone ages 6 months and older can receive a standard Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine. Those ages 18 years and older can choose between the standard Fluzone or the Flublok vaccines. For those ages 65 and older, it is recommended to receive the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine or the Flublok vaccine.
Flublok, a recombinant quadrivalent vaccine, contains three times more antigens than the standard Fluzone vaccine. Flublok does not use the influenza virus or eggs in its production. Instead, it uses a more modern technology, used for many years to make other vaccines approved by the FDA, approved to create flu vaccine in 2013. Flublok is FDA approved for adults 18 years of age and older.
Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine is approved only for ages 65 and older. It contains four times more antigens, the part of the vaccine that helps you body build up protection against flu viruses, than standard Fluzone vaccines.