Flu shot sees some changes - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Flu shot sees some changes

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It may be September, but the signs are popping up everywhere-- tis' the season for flu shots. But pay attention, there are new changes to flu vaccines this year.

Elaine Mayville got a three-strain vaccine Wednesday at the Arrowhead Senior Center in Milton, put on by the Visiting Nurse Association.

Reporter Gina Bullard: How did the shot go?

Elaine Mayville: Fine, didn't even feel it.

Mayville says she usually gets a flu shot in October, but this year the clinic came early.

"The vaccines have been getting out earlier, the pharmacies offer them earlier, so we've had to move ours up earlier in the season," said Beverly Berry of the VNA. "Last year was a particularly bad season, so they really want to get them early this year."

"It's fine to get your vaccine now. It will take you through the flu season," said Christine Finley, the immunization program manager at the Vermont Department of Health.

Finley says after 30 years of no change, this year will be one of transition for people getting the influenza shot. Two vaccines are out. One fights three strains of flu, the other fights four. But health officials say the three will be fine for nearly everyone. And it's more readily available.

"This year, of the 135 million doses of vaccine, only 30 million will be the four-strain," Finley said.

Gina Bullard: Should people be nervous if they only get the three-strain vaccination?

Christine Finley: No, they shouldn't be nervous.

Finley says the most common flu will be covered by the three-strain shot. And the four-strain vaccine, administered in a nasal spray, will be targeted toward kids.

"It's a year of transition and it can be confusing. It's important to get the flu vaccine and the one that's right for you may vary on your age and health condition," Finley said.

This year there is also a high dose three vaccine available. The health department says it may be a good option for those people 65 and older with chronic disease, but if it's not available the health department says don't worry and do not forego the flu vaccine altogether.

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