Get your flu shot!

By Suzanne Gibson
November 23, 2020

With the holidays upon us and concerns over COVID-19 running top of mind, getting a flu shot may go overlooked. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 36,000 flu deaths occur each year in the U.S.  Most healthcare plans provide free flu shots through your doctor or area pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, Target and the Shot Nurse. Many pharmacies allow walk-ins or appointments can be scheduled online.

Southwest faculty and staff enrolled in ParTNersforHealth can find information about their vaccine coverage at https://www.tn.gov/partnersforhealth/health-options/pharmacy.html.

Below are a few important tips from the Shot Nurse of Memphis:

What is a flu shot?

  • The flu shot vaccine is a killed virus, which is safe and does not give you the flu.
  • People who are allergic to eggs or have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome should not take the flu vaccine.
  • The vaccine provides immunity for the entire flu season.
  • It takes approximately two weeks to develop immunity after receiving the vaccine.
  • It is recommended that flu shots be administered in the fall for best results.

What kinds of flu vaccines are available?

  • High Dose Flu and Fluad are recommended for individuals older than 65 as they are both trivalent flu vaccines. The High Dose Flu vaccine has more antigen to help increase immunity whereas Fluad has the same antigen as other vaccines, but an adjuvant that helps boost the immune system.
  • Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine protects against two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains. This vaccine contains H1N1 and is recommended for all adults and children.
  • Egg Free vaccines are available in trivalent for individuals between the ages of 18-49, and in quadrivalent for those who are 4 and older. Both are manufactured without egg proteins.
  • FluMist is back on the influenza vaccine schedule, following a vote from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

For more information, review the College’s infectious disease policyBack to Campus Plan and coronavirus website at www.southwest.tn.edu/coronavirus.

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