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Why do you need a flu shot every year?

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The seasonal flu vaccine is changed every year. Each year, a panel of experts from agencies such as the FDA and the CDC studies the available data and decide which three or four strains of influenza viruses will most likely be active during the next flu season. In February, they advise the manufacturers which strains of viruses to use in making the vaccine. So, each year the vaccine being used is different than the vaccine used the year before.

From: Seasonal Flu Shot and Nasal Spray WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

CDC: "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu;" "Seasonal Influenza;" and "Burden of Influenza."

Pediatrics , published online Feb. 1, 2011.

FDA: "2009-2010 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines."

KidsHealth.org: "Is the Flu Vaccine a Good Idea for Your Family?"

Flu.gov: "About the Flu."

GlaxoSmithKline.

CDC: "Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 through 8 Years Old." 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 08, 2018

SOURCES: 

CDC: "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu;" "Seasonal Influenza;" and "Burden of Influenza."

Pediatrics , published online Feb. 1, 2011.

FDA: "2009-2010 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines."

KidsHealth.org: "Is the Flu Vaccine a Good Idea for Your Family?"

Flu.gov: "About the Flu."

GlaxoSmithKline.

CDC: "Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 through 8 Years Old." 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 08, 2018

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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