Act Now To Protect Against Flu

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. – The 2012-2013 influenza season is here and supplies of flu vaccine are now available in the state of Kansas. Some healthcare providers have already started flu immunization clinics and will continue to offer the vaccine throughout the influenza season. The timing and severity of the flu season are difficult to predict and vary from year to year.

“By getting your flu vaccine before you see or hear about the first case of flu in your community, you give yourself and your family the best opportunity to stay flu-free throughout the season,” said Ryan Burns, KDHE Director of Immunization. “Although influenza can occur at any time, October is often thought of as the start of flu season, so acting now is a great way to get that protection.”

This fall, most everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated against flu, even if they were vaccinated last season. By getting the flu vaccine, you can protect yourself from influenza and may also avoid spreading influenza to others.

It takes about two weeks after the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. There are two types of influenza vaccines recommended by the CDC:

· The first is an attenuated influenza vaccine that contains live but weakened influenza virus and is sprayed into the nostrils. If you’re between 2 and 49 years of age and not pregnant, ask your health provider about the nasal spray vaccine. It’s just as safe and just as effective as the injection, and it may be the right vaccine for you.

· The second is the inactivated (killed) influenza vaccine, or “flu shot,” which is given by injection with a needle. There are three types of “flu shots” available:

--- a regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and older
--- a high-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older, and
--- an intradermal flu shot approved for people 18 to 64 years of age

For the 2012-2013 season, manufacturers have projected they will produce between 146 million and 149 million doses of flu vaccine. During 2011-2012, 132.8 million doses of flu vaccine were distributed in the U.S.

Contact your local health department or visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder at to find a flu vaccination provider in your area.

If you would like more information on seasonal influenza, go to