Choosing the Right Flu Vaccine


It's a simple shot that makes a world of difference.

At 89-years-old, Loyal Dean makes sure to get his every year.

"At our age, we're more susceptible to viruses and things like that," he said.

In more recent years, the options have expanded to sprays and higher doses. Although he stuck with his typical shot this year, Dean says there's a lot to consider.

"The stronger one, we would have gone for it, but I don't know if we'd be more susceptible to a reaction or not," he said.

Doctors say that's just one thing to look out for when heading to the clinic.

"My advice is, if they've gotten the regular flu shot in the past and haven't gotten the flu, get the regular one," said Dr. Edward Rosick, of the MSU Department of Family and Community Medicine. "If they've had problems, try the high-dose one."

That especially goes for the elderly, who could benefit from the extra antibodies provided by a higher dose. For those who don't like the shot at, there's also the spray, but that's only for ages 2 through 49.

And that's not all, new this year is the 'quadrivalent', which fights four strains of flu instead of the typical three.

"[It] might theoretically give more protection than the older ones give," said Dr. Rosick. "We don't have a lot of data showing us that yet, but it makes sense that it will."

The Ingham County Health Department is giving out all types, but warns not to focus too much on the strains, or dose, but just getting the shot.

"There really is no preference at this point on which vaccine to get," said Wendy Ridenour, Immunization Supervisor at the health department.

The department, located on Cedar St. in Lansing, is holding a special flu clinic on Wednesday, October 23.


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