FLU SHOTS: Variety Of Vaccines Available

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The CDC estimates there will be as many as 139 million doses of the flu vaccine available this year. And this year patients have more options than they’ve ever had.

Managing pharmacist Andrew Funk says his job has more to do with people than pills. “I love the people that come into the store. I love the relationship I get to make with them. You know they come into here and look for advice,” Funk says.

Unfortunately, his patients don`t always follow his advice, like when they put off getting a flu shot. Funk says, “It’s hard to see the people you come to care about and see on a regular basis and get really sick.”

He says this year; there really are no more excuses.  They even have preservative and egg free vaccines. One of the latest protects against four different strains of the flu.  It's called a quadrivalent.

Medical Director of Iowa Public Health Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says, “It will give you as much protection as the flu shots available in the last several decades. But it`s just this new one gives you a little bit extra edge in that you get that 4th strain.”

That shot may be harder to come by but there should be plenty of the rest. Funk says, “When it comes down to it it`s all going to give you the same immunity and you`re still going to be protected.”

Health experts say it`s not about the vaccine you choose, it`s when you get it that`s most important. Funk says, “Having that protection earlier is going to be more beneficial than putting it off for a longer period of time just for that one extra strain.”

Funk says it`s impossible to get the shot too early, and you'll definitely know when it's too late.