Shoo, Flu

Variety of vaccines protect against influenza

To avoid the knock-down, drag-out symptoms and complications of influenza (flu), take preventive steps now. Get yourself and your family vaccinated. But check first with your hemophilia treatment center (HTC) to see if you need to infuse beforehand. That’s because most vaccines are given intramuscularly, in a muscle, which can trigger bleeding.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu vaccination for 6-month-olds all the way up to seniors. Populations at higher risk include: pregnant women, children ages 6 months to 4 years, people who are immunosuppressed, adults over 50, caregivers and nursing home residents. It takes two weeks for antibodies to develop once you’ve been vaccinated, so the sooner the better.

Vaccine options have expanded recently, so find out which of these is best for you:

•    Intradermal (in the skin), which reduces the risk of bleeding
•    Nasal spray for 2- to 49-year-olds
•    Recombinant, egg-free vaccine for those with egg allergies
•    High dose for those 65 and older
•    NEW vaccine with adjuvant, a substance that promotes a stronger immune response in those 65 and older. The Food and Drug Administration approved this vaccine November 24, 2015.