The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community

October 8, 2013

A shot in the arm

New vaccines, more options join arsenal to battle seasonal illness

ANDERSON, Ind. — Sonny Woods did not even flinch when pharmacist Mike Patel slid the needle into his upper arm.

“Don’t be afraid of it,” Woods, 68, of Anderson said of the flu shot. “I did not feel a thing.”

The flu vaccine Woods received will protect against three of the four influenza viruses that are being predicted for 2013-2014. Patel, pharmacy manager for Pay Less, 1845 N. Scatterfield Road, said the shot given to Woods, a traditional vaccine, and a high dose vaccine for those over 65 are the only two being offered at his location.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several flu vaccines available for this year’s flu season. The agency says everyone between older than six months should receive the flu vaccine.

Most people will receive the standard flu vaccine like Woods. This vaccine is used by growing the flu virus in eggs and then the vaccine is injected into a muscle of the upper arm. It will protect against two influenza A viruses and one influenza B virus. The vaccine is approved for children 6 months and older.

This year a four-strain vaccine is being offered that fights a second influenza B virus. According to officials, flu virus manufacturers are hoping to change from the three-strain vaccine to this new vaccine.

High-dose vaccines, which Patel said is offered at Pay Less, contains about four times the antigens than the regular flu vaccine. This vaccine is recommended for those 65 and over.

Jeremy Havens, 34, New Castle, said he avoids getting the flu vaccine because he hates needles.

“I have never liked needles,” Havens said. “Not at the dentist, not anywhere.”Havens, who was in Anderson visiting family, said he knows he needs to get the vaccine, he just wants to get it without having to get a shot.

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