Flu Information for 2017-2018
Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2017-2018 Influenza Season
What’s new this flu season?
- The recommendation to not use the nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) was renewed for the 2017-2018 season. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season.
- Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses (the influenza A(H1N1) component was updated).
- Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate flu vaccine.
- Two new quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines have been licensed: one inactivated influenza vaccine (“Afluria Quadrivalent” IIV) and one recombinant influenza vaccine (“Flublok Qudrivalent” RIV).
- The age recommendation for “Flulaval Quadrivalent” has been changed from 3 years old and older to 6 months and older to be consistent with FDA-approved labeling.
- The trivalent formulation of Afluria is recommended for people 5 years and older (from 9 years and older) in order to match the Food and Drug Administration package insert.
What flu vaccines are recommended this season?
- Standard dose flu shots. Most are given into the muscle (usually with a needle, but one can be given to some people with a jet injector). One is given into the skin.
- High-dose shots for older people.
- Shots made with adjuvant for older people.
- Shots made with virus grown in cell culture.
- Shots made using a vaccine production technology (recombinant vaccine) that does not require the use of flu virus.
What viruses will the 2017-2018 flu vaccines protect against?
- an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
- an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
- a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
When should I get vaccinated?
Can I get a flu vaccine if I am allergic to eggs?
- People who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg can get any licensed flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health.
- People who have symptoms other than hives after exposure to eggs, such as angioedema, respiratory distress, lightheadedness, or recurrent emesis; or who have needed epinephrine or another emergency medical intervention, also can get any licensed flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health, but the vaccine should be given in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions. (Settings include hospitals, clinics, health departments, and physician offices). People with egg allergies no longer have to wait 30 minutes after receiving their vaccine.
What sort of flu season is expected this year?
Will new flu viruses circulate this season?
Will the United States have a flu epidemic?
When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?
How many people get sick with flu every year?
How many people are hospitalized from flu every year?
How many people die from flu each year?
Why is it difficult to know exactly how many people die from flu?
What should I do to protect myself from flu this season?
What should I do to protect my loved ones from flu this season?
Do some children require two doses of flu vaccine?
What can I do to protect children who are too young to get vaccinated?
How much flu vaccine will be available this season?
Will live attenuated intranasal influenza vaccine (LAIV) be available this season even though it is not recommended for use?
What flu vaccine should I get instead of the nasal spray vaccine?
My child usually gets the nasal spray vaccine. Can I skip getting them vaccinated since nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended?
When should I get vaccinated?
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
What is flu vaccination using a jet injector?
What is adjuvanted flu vaccine?
How effective will flu vaccines be this season?
Will this season’s flu vaccine be a good match for circulating viruses?
How long does a flu vaccine protect me from getting the flu?
Can the flu vaccine provide protection even if the flu vaccine is not a “good” match?
Can I get vaccinated and still get the flu?
- You may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in you becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect you. (About 2 weeks after vaccination antibodies that provide protection develop in the body.)
- You may be exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different flu viruses that circulate every year. The flu vaccine is made to protect against the three or four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common.
- Unfortunately, some people can become infected with a flu virus the flu vaccine is designed to protect against, despite getting vaccinated. Protection provided by flu vaccination can vary widely, based in part on health and age factors of the person getting vaccinated. In general, the flu vaccine works best among healthy younger adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination. Flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, but it is the best way to protect against flu infection.
What happens in the body when someone has the flu?
What should I do if I get sick with the flu?
How does CDC track flu activity?
- Find out when and where influenza activity is occurring
- Track influenza-related illness
- Determine what influenza viruses are circulating
- Detect changes in influenza viruses
- Measure the impact influenza is having on hospitalizations and deaths in the United States