For 2015-2016, both trivalent (three components) and quadrivalent (four components) influenza vaccines will be available. The standard trivalent flu vaccine protects against three forms of influenza — two influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) viruses, as well as the common influenza B virus. Another form of the vaccine called quadrivalent protects against these same viruses, as well as an additional form of influenza B.
Different routes of administration are available for flu vaccines — intranasal and injectable. Both the standard trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines are available in the injectable form, while the nasal spray vaccines will all be quadrivalent this season. However, the intranasal form (sprayed into the nose) is generally not recommended for those affected by neuromuscular disease.
Check with your doctor before obtaining any vaccine, especially if you're affected by myasthenia gravis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, or taking immune-suppressing medications such as corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone, deflazacort, prednisolone).
If your current health coverage doesn't include seasonal flu vaccines as a preventive health benefit, MDA's Flu Shot Program can help.
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