Amarilo pharmacist discusses new flu season recommendations

Pharmacists at Southpark Pharmacy in Amarillo recommend all members of a household get the flu vaccine. (ABC 7 Amarillo-Tiffany Lester)

Flu season 2017-2018 has officially begun. Amarillo pharmacies are gearing up for the busy time of year.

Southpark Pharmacy’s Prince Ogbonna tells ABC 7 it is crucial to get vaccinated and get it done early since it takes a couple of weeks to take effect.

"When you get exposed to flu, it is transmitted, it is contagious," said Ogbonna. "Somebody in the household could get the flu if they’re not vaccinated. People who are (in the) vulnerable population, people who are elderly, young kids who are sick, it could lead to very serious consequences. It could lead to death depending on how compromised their immunity is."

This flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is making some new recommendations.

They recommend people use only injectable vaccine shots and not the nasal spray flu vaccine.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says pregnant women can now get licensed flu vaccines and the age recommendation for the vaccine has changed from three years and older to six months and older.

But Ogbonna said they do not give the flu vaccination to children that young. He said doctors typically do that.

He tells ABC 7 there is also a new and improved vaccine for better coverage.

"Last year we had a lot of trivalent, which covers 3 strains, but this year, they introduced the quadrivalent which is more coverage. This quadrivalent covers two A’s and two B's. The trivalent only covered the two A's and one B," said Ogbonna.

Ogbonna said at Southpark Pharmacy, they try to make things easy for patients who might be nervous about getting their flu shot.

He said patients should just relax and look away if they need to, and it will be over before you know it.

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