A new method for the flu shot vaccine has become available to those people looking for a flu-free year. For most of the population, a quick pinprick will be offered as an alternative to the traditional arm-muscle injection, but, as Fox News reports, the elderly will not be able to take advantage of this new type of flu shot.
People aged 18 to 64 now have the option of choosing to be get their dose of flu prevention from a teeny needle no longer than a tenth of an inch. By injecting a lower-than-normal dose of inactivated flu virus just beneath the skin, this method bestows most people with the same level of protection as the traditional in-the-arm technique.
There is one major caveat; this particular procedure isn't recommended for older people because their weaker immune systems need a bigger dose of the vaccine to create enough antibodies to fight off the flu.
Even though the current flu vaccine chemically mimics the one given last year, the Centers for Disease Control urge everyone older than 6 months to get vaccinated again this season as these strains are still the most active.
For caregivers, the CDC emphasizes the importance of the vaccine in protecting not only them, but the elders they look after. Those in nursing homes and other types of long-term care communities are encouraged to get a flu shot for these reasons as well.
It can take up to two weeks for a person's immune system to fully respond to the flu shot, so getting inoculated as soon as the vaccine becomes available is heavily advised.