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No excuses left to not got the influenza vaccine

Dec. 8, 2013 at 5:45 PM   |   Comments

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CHICAGO, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Egg allergies and fear of needles are no longer arguments to avoid getting the flu vaccine, thanks to improvements available this year, a U.S. expert says.

Dr. Jorge Parada, the medical director of the Infection Prevention and Control Program at Loyola University Health System near Chicago, said new this year, those who have egg allergies have access to a completely egg-free vaccine.

"Flublok is available to adults ages 18-49, and is recommended for those with a severe anaphylactic egg allergy," Parada said in a statement.

In addition, those who have a fear of needles can now benefit from the intradermal flu vaccine which uses a very fine needle that is 90 percent smaller than the needles used for regular flu shots, Parada said.

"The intradermal flu vaccine is injected into the superficial skin instead of the deeper muscle and is preferred by some patients," Parada said.

A needle-less vaccine administered via a nasal flu mist is also available on a limited basis to those ages 2 through 49 who are healthy, Parada added.

"Washing your hands continues to be the best advice to prevent the flu. Of course, everyone should get a flu vaccine -- early in the season is preferred -- to protect themselves, their family and friends, and to prevent the spread of the flu virus overall," said Parada, who recently was appointed a fellow in the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the leading medical infection prevention organization.

"Herd immunity is a medical term that refers to the prevention of infectious disease due to mass public vaccination and herd immunity has helped to eradicate smallpox and control measles, whooping cough, polio and many other deadly illnesses, including the flu."

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