News & Communications | Press Releases

Flu Vaccine Covers More Strains

Date:  September 22nd, 2014

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
Phone: (701)857-5116
Fax: (701)857-5683

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

All Press Releases

(MINOT, ND)—Smart folks who opt for a flu shot this season through Trinity Health will receive an extra measure of protection. Trinity is among the medical providers across the nation offering the quadrivalent influenza vaccine, which is designed to protect against four different flu viruses.

“Traditionally, flu vaccines were trivalent, that is, they were designed to protect against three strains of the flu virus,” explains Dr. Casmiar Nwaigwe, infectious disease specialist with Trinity Health. “The quadrivalent flu vaccine will protect against four viruses — two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.”

It's estimated that of the 150 million doses of flu vaccine expected to be available for the 2014-2015 season, 77 million will be quadrivalent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the four-virus vaccine is made in the same way as the three-virus product and has a similar safety profile.

“Like the familiar trivalent vaccine, the quadrivalent vaccine cannot cause influenza because the vaccine viruses used to make it are inactive or dead,” Dr. Nwaigwe adds. “It is not possible to get the flu from flu vaccination.”

Seasonal flu in the United States can strike as early as September and remain active until as late as May, according to the CDC. While there's no way to predict the severity of any given flu season, it's a certainty that every season will be different, and influenza infection will affect people differently.

“Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others,” Dr. Nwaigwe emphasizes. “The important thing is to get vaccinated — not only to protect yourself but the people around you. It could be a grandparent, a child or someone with an underlying health condition. If you care about those people, you should get the vaccine.”

The CDC recommends that everyone who is at least six months of age get a flu shot this season. To make
vaccination more convenient, Trinity Health is offering three walk-in sites in Minot for adult vaccination. Children are advised to make an appointment with their physician. Adults also may schedule an appointment with their provider's office to receive a flu shot. Cost is $35, which is payable at the time of service. Medicare patients are asked to bring their Medicare card with them.

Walk-In Sites for Adult Flu Shots: Trinity Health South Ridge (1500 24th Avenue SW) M-F, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Health Center — Town & Country, Suite 104 (1015 South Broadway) M-F, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Convenient Care Clinic at Health Center — Medical Arts (400 Burdick Expressway E) Saturdays & Sundays, 1 to 6 p.m. SPACE index.php