While we’ve spent more than the last 12 months navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s not forget that flu season is upon us, again. As is typical during the start of the flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend all eligible individuals receive an annual influenza vaccine to reduce the risk of getting or attenuate the effects of the seasonal flu.
There are some new changes for this year’s flu vaccine that are important. While, as is typically done every year, the composition of the vaccine has been changed to reflect a predicted change in flu virus strains that are anticipated to be prominent this year. Importantly, effective this year, all flu vaccines will be quadrivalent, meaning that they are designed to protect against four different types of influenza virus, two of influenza type A, and two of type B. The CDC further advises that any of the flu vaccines available this year can be administered at the same time as any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
When I’m practicing medicine, I generally recommend patients get their annual flu vaccine. That being said, the flu vaccine may not be suitable for everyone, and you should consult with your personal physician to determine whether this year’s flu vaccine is appropriate for you. This is especially important if you have previously been affected by Guillain-Barre syndrome or similar inflammatory demyelinating peripheral neuropathy.
While all vaccines are generally safe, there are rare instances where vaccine injuries do occur. If you or someone you know may have been injured by the seasonal flu vaccine, you should contact us to see if we can help. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is available for vaccine-injured individuals who meet certain criteria. A list of all the vaccines covered under the program is available here.
Ramon Rodriguez is a member of Sands Anderson’s Vaccine Injury Legal Team and represents individuals and families who have developed injuries related to vaccines.