For Mickey Curtis, getting the flu shot...
“I have for about the last ten years actually,” says Mickey Curtis, gets annual flu shot.
Is all about results.
“I haven’t gotten the flu in ten years,” says Curtis.
She’s in the minority. CDC figures show in 2011, 52 percent of children and only 39 percent of adults were immunized. But it’s a new year and experts believe we’re looking at two new flu’s.
“Every year the CDC looks at what the most common strains are they see coming from other parts of the world and we try to target our flu shot to cover those most common strains. And this year there are a few strains we did not see in the previous years,” says Dr. Christina Cavanagh, family medicine practitioner with Lee Memorial Health System.
So last years flu shot won’t cover you this year. Doctors can’t say how bad this winter’s flu season will be. But they are certain getting a flu shot has never been easier.
“The flu mist is another option for people who are afraid of needles. It’s indicated for anyone from the age of 2 up to 63 it does have some live virus in the vaccine- it has been inactivated so it cannot cause the flu,” says Dr. Cavanagh.
There is also a ‘milder’ form of flu shot, available for people ages 18-64.
“The intradermal only goes under the skin a couple of millimeters. It’s a very, very small needle. It’s suppose to be an ‘ouch’ less version of the flu vaccine,” says Dr. Cavanagh.
Health experts encourage everyone to get vaccinated to limit the virus and lower the risk for vulnerable populations. As for Curtis, she doesn’t need convincing.
“My husband, he did get the flu- he didn’t get the flu shot. That’s why basically,” says Curtis.
And now there are pain-free ways to avoid a painful illness.