When you get your flu shot this fall, you’ll have choices to make that you never confronted before. Up till now flu vaccines targeted three-strains of flu, but this year a number of manufacturers are introducing quadrivalent vaccines that target four strains. They may be the best choice for children, who are often most susceptible to B-strain viruses and the new quad flu shots target two strains of B virus.
“We’ve seen a lot of new type vaccines coming to the market, and I’m getting indications of that supplies will be good and early,” according to Dr. John Carlo, Chairman of the Texas Medical Association Council for Science and Public Health.
Also new on the market this year are egg-free shots, for those who have egg allergies. There is growing interest in a vaccine that targets consumers 65 and above.
Dr. Grogory Poland of the Mayo Clinic says we are moving away from a one-size fits-all model to choosing the best vaccine based on age and condition.
For those who are terrified of a needle, there are mist varieties available, and new under-the-skin pricks.
Manufacturers expect to have close to 140 million doses available by flu season, but only about 30 million of those will provide the 4-strain protection most valuable to children.