Choosing the flu vaccine that's right for you - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Choosing the flu vaccine that's right for you

Meagan Lissner has three children who she will vaccinate for the flu. (Source: KLTV Staff) Meagan Lissner has three children who she will vaccinate for the flu. (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Vaccine shipments are arriving at local pharmacies Tuesday as the medical community braces itself for flu season.

Several forms of the vaccine are on hand this year, from standard injection to a nasal spray. Experts said some options are better than others, depending on age group. With all the options to choose from, its important to the best decision for you and your family.

Picking out children's clothes is easy for Meagan Lissner, but shopping for the right flu vaccine for her three youngsters is tricky.

“Well, it makes me want to do research now. Just talking about it ... I'm like OK, now I need to start researching and figuring out what will be best for us because I don't know yet,” Lissner said.

With three forms of the flu vaccine to choose from, “It's a little overwhelming,” she said.

The a nasal spray, which covers four strains of the flu virus, is best for children ages two to eight, said Amy Martin, a pharmacist with Trinity Mother Frances.

“That's because it helps their immune system better than the injection to learn how to block that flu,” Martin said.

The elderly and those with weak immune systems should stick to the standard shot, but look for the version that covers four strains of flu, not just three, she said.

“There are clinical evidence to show that it prevents the flu better in our seniors than tradition dose vaccines,” Martin explained.

The final option is the three-strain intradermal that uses air to press the vaccine through the skin without a needle.

Martin said then the intradermal option is best “if you just really can't tolerate that big of a needle, but you can't get the nasal vaccine.”

One child has already died from the flu in Texas, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control report, but numbers are nowhere near an outbreak.

“What we don't want people to do is delay getting their flu shot because they're awaiting a specific formulation to be available,” Martin explained. Any form of the flu vaccine is better than not getting one at all she said.

“I definitely will not do the shot,” Lissner said. “I haven't heard about the gun one. The shooting with the air, I don't know. But the nasal, probably that one.”

Statistics show about 36,000 people die from the flu in the U.S. every year. Early vaccination can lessen your risk.

Many local pharmacies are offering flu shots, and the Northeast Texas Public Health District said they are waiting on a shipment, but should begin distributing the vaccine by mid-September.

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