New flu vaccine offered for first time in over 30 years - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New flu vaccine offered for first time in over 30 years

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Doctors say now is the time to start thinking about the Flu Vaccine. This year, there will be more to consider, because after more than 30 years, the vaccine is changing.

This year, there is a new vaccine for patients to choose from. It is supposed to provide the most protection in a shot, which lessens the chances of ending up at the hospital with the flu.

The flu vaccine is known to only be about 60 percent effective, and so newer ones are part of the efforts to make them able to do more. The new Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine is said to give better protection, because it covers four strains of the Flu instead of just the usual three. The Center for Disease Control only recommends this shot for people ages two through 49.

But there's also a stronger vaccine being offered for those who are over 65, to help with weakened immune systems. There are concerns that throwing new shots in the mix could confuse things, but experts insist more specific vaccines mean big steps toward handling the deadly virus.

"It's an ongoing effort to cover as much," said Winona McLamb, with Infection Prevention at the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. "The flu virus is so unpredictable. And we know there's more than one circulating strain of A and B, and they're trying to attempt to cover that as well as they can."

If you have any questions or concerns about the new flu shot, make sure you discuss it with your physician. If you're interested in taking it, you might want to hurry, because there's only a limited amount being produced since this is just the first year.

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