2020-2021 Flu Shot Information for Sansum Clinic Patients

Flu Shot Information

Available to Sansum Clinic patients while supplies last

Additional Information on Influenza

Changes to how and where patients get a flu vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Flu Shot Donors

Generous supporters make the Flu Shot Program possible

Additional Information on Influenza

As the flu season rapidly approaches, updated guidance for influenza vaccination for the 2020-2021 Flu Season has been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Please note how and where patients get a flu vaccine has had to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flu shots are particularly important this upcoming flu season to prevent patients from potentially becoming ill with both COVID-19 and influenza – especially for those at increased medical risk for severe complications should they contract flu or COVID-19.

We understand that flu season coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic raises many concerns. First we will provide some general flu information, and after that we will address a number of questions and answers regarding flu season and COVID-19.

The influenza virus can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions causing what we call the Flu.

Anyone can get the Flu, but rates of infection are highest among children. For most people, symptoms last only a few days. They include:

  • fever/chills
  • sore throat
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • headache
  • runny or stuffy nose

Other illnesses can have the same symptoms and are often mistaken for influenza.

Young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or a weakened immune system – are at a higher risk. Flu can cause high fever and pneumonia, and make existing medical conditions worse. It can cause diarrhea and seizures in children. Each year thousands of people die from flu and even more require hospitalization.

By getting a flu vaccine you can protect yourself from flu and may also avoid spreading flu to others.

There are many different formulations of the flu vaccine. Sansum Clinic will be providing quadrivalent single dose IM vaccine preparations. In addition to the quadrivalent single dose IM preparations, we will have a supply of High Dose Fluzone (which is also a quadrivalent preparation) for patients age 65 and older who may benefit from a high dose preparation (e.g., reportedly enhanced antigenicity). The four pre-filled syringe formulations that we will have available this flu season are: Fluzone QIV (6 mos and older), Fluzone High Dose QIV (65 and older), FluBlok QIV ( 18 years and older) and Fluarix QIV (6 mos and older). The CDC has not expressed any preference for any influenza vaccine product.

This season’s flu vaccines were updated to better match viruses expected to be circulating in the US this upcoming flu season. It takes about 2 weeks for protection to develop after the shot and will last about a year.

Who should get the flu vaccine and when? 

All people 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine.

Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of severe flu and their close contacts, including healthcare personnel and close contacts of children younger than 6 months.

Get the vaccine as soon as it is available. This should provide protection if the flu season comes early.

Flu can occur at any time, but most flu occurs from October through May. Getting vaccinated as soon as vaccine is available is a good idea, but if you delay, getting vaccinated later in the season will still be beneficial, as long as flu virus is still circulating.

Adults and older children need one dose of flu vaccine each year. But some children 6 months through 8 years of age may need two doses to be protected. Ask your doctor about vaccinating your child.

Flu vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines, including pneumococcal vaccine.

Some people should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician.

Tell your doctor if you have any severe (life-threatening) allergies, including a severe allergy to eggs. A severe allergy to any vaccine component may be a reason not to get the vaccine. Allergic reactions to flu vaccine are rare.

Tell your doctor if you ever had a severe reaction after a flu shot. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS). Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.

People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting flu vaccine. If you are ill, talk to your doctor about whether to reschedule the vaccination. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine.

If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health care provider.

A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.

The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely rare. You cannot get the flu from the vaccine.

The safety of vaccines is always being monitored.

Some mild problems can include:

  • soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • hoarseness; sore, red or itchy eyes;
  • cough
  • fever
  • aches
  • headache
  • itching or fatigue

If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and may last 1-2 days.

Young children who get inactivated flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) at the same time appear to be at increased risk for seizures caused by fever. Ask your doctor for more information and tell your doctor if a child who is getting flu vaccine has ever had a seizure.

After the Flu shot look for any unusual condition, such as a high fever or behavior changes. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat or dizziness.

In this case, you should:

  • Call 911 and get the person to the nearest hospital right away.
  • Tell the doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given.

For more information, contact the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention at 1-800-CDC-INFO or 1-800-232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/flu. Thank you.

Next →

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)