Flu vaccines offer more, less painful options this season

DENVER — Doctors for the first time have a vaccine that protects against four types of flu virus.

The quadrivalent vaccine is one of three new options available for the upcoming flu season.

They are cries heard at every doctor’s office before and during flu season as flu shots make their appearance.

But now an antidote to the pain.

FluMist has been around for years—but not in this more potent form called quadrivalent.

“This time they offered the flu mist which covers four viruses instead of three. We were a little hesitant of getting a shot this time for the girls so we thought we might as well try it,” says a mother of two young girls at Cherry Creek Pediatrics at 4900 E. Kentucky in Denver.

Another new vaccine is called intradermal. Its needle is 90-percent smaller than a standard needle. And instead of doctors injecting it deep into the muscle, it only goes into the skin.

“We are excited to have more options for children for the flu this year,” says pediatrician Dr. Matt Dorighi.

Dr. Dorighi says a third new option is for people with severe allergies to eggs—which are traditionally used to make flu vaccine.

“You couldn’t get the flu vaccine if you had a severe egg allergy. This year, if you are over 18 there’s an option for that,” says Dr. Dorighi.

FluBlok will allow those allergic to eggs to visit regular doctor’s offices instead of an allergy specialist.

“I really didn’t want to come. I do not like the flu shot,” says Kate, 7.

For her family, the flu will take a licking at their home this season—one the U.S. Department of Health warns may start again early this year.

Flu season peaks in January or February—but it can begin as early as October and end as late as May.

Doctors recommend everyone older than six months old receive a flu vaccine.