New Flu Vaccine Promises More Protection

For years, whenever you went to get your flu vaccine you only had to choose between a shot and a squirt in the nose.

However, now you'll have to decide if you want extra protection. The Wichita County Public Health District is stacking up and receiving weekly shipments of the new vaccine that protects you against four strains of the flu.

"Most of the time when people get the flu they have no idea what strain they've contracted. They just know they're really sick. It's just the four different ways they're classified," said Kay Sabine, the immunization charge nurse at the Wichita Co. Public Health District.

Sabine said, the district will only have the nasal spray version of the new vaccine until the fall of next year. When the district ordered the vaccine in the spring, its manufacturer didn't have a license to distribute the injection. Now here's the problem. The nasal spray can only be given to people between two and 49 years old.

"We will still be giving the injectable vaccine for the elderly. We encourage them to get it just like they always have. It covers three out of the four strains. It's the same thing they've been getting for years," said Sabine.

Pregnant women won't be able to get it either. Unlike the injection, the nasal spray actually sends the live virus into your system.

Sabine said, "Not everyone but some people get a little bit of a stuffy nose. They can get a low grade temperature like 99, 100, 101."

However, Sabine said, if you are the appropriate age and don't have health complications you should definitely get the nasal spray vaccine.

"The really plus side of the nasal vaccine is that it takes effect immediately. As soon as you inhale, you're beginning your coverage right then and there. It doesn't have that 10 to 14 day delay like the injectable," said Sabine.

Walgreens currently has the injection version of the four strain vaccine available. CVS doesn't have it right now and employees said, they're not sure if they'll ever get it.

The Wichita Co. Public Health District will start administering the new vaccine on the first week of October.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6