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New Vaccine Options for Next Flu Season

Consumers will have seven different choices, expert says (July 15)

The next flu shot season will include several new vaccine options for consumers, Mayo Clinic vaccine expert Gregory Poland, MD, says.

The new choices move influenza vaccinations closer to the personalized approach long sought by immunologists, including Poland, but they may also prove bewildering to patients, he says.

“I think what's really going to be confusing to patients and to doctors and nurses is that we’ll have seven different choices this year. We’re used to the flu shot; we’re used to the nasal spray; and that’s all we’ve had, forever,” says Poland.

The new influenza vaccine options available for the upcoming flu season include:

  • A shot with four strains of influenza rather than the traditional three strains.
  • Nasal sprays with four strains rather than the usual three strains.
  • A high-dose vaccine for the elderly to boost their immune response and protection.
  • For those with egg allergies, two new vaccines without egg proteins.
  • For needle-phobic patients, a new vaccine delivered by a tiny “micro-needle” into the skin, rather than by a regular needle under the skin.

Source: Mayo Clinic; May 15, 2013.

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