Find a Buffalo Area Flu Shot Clinic:
Click on the provider you trust to see a schedule of their offerings.This list does not include all your area pharmacies or the doctor's offices that may also offer vaccines.
From Kaleida- The VNA at area churches, fire halls, supermarkets etc.
UB (free for students) | Independent Nursing Care | Wegman's Supermarkets | Tops Friendly Markets | Target Stores
At most clinics, there are four different forms of flu vaccine to choose from:
-The traditional flu shot is for all ages and people with high-risk health conditions.
-FluMist, the squirt-up-the-nose version, is for healthy people ages 2 to 49 who aren't pregnant.
-A high-dose shot is available for people 65 and older.
-And the intradermal shot - a skin-deep prick instead of the usual inch-long needle - is available for 18- to 64-year-olds.
The vaccine is covered by insurance, and Medicare and some plans don't require a copay; drugstore vaccination programs tend to charge about $30.
12 Myths about Flu Vaccines
MYTH # 1: FLU SHOTS CAN CAUSE THE FLU:
Flu vaccines contain only inactivated flu viruses. They're unable to cause infection.
In fact, studies comparing flu shot recipients to people who get salt-water (placebo) shots show that the only differences in the two groups are that the flu shot recipients experience redness at the injection site and arm soreness.
They weren't more likely to experience body aches, fever, cough, runny nose, or sore throat.
Myth #2: LATE FLU SHOTS DON'T HELP
Some people believe it makes no sense to get a flu shot after November. In fact, while experts say it's best to get flu shots as soon as they become available, getting a flu shot can be helpful as long as flu viruses are circulating.
Flu season varies from year to year. Though seasonal influenza usually peaks in January or February, some people get the flu as late as May.
Myth # 3: FLU SHOTS PROTECT FOR YEARS
Just because you got a flu shot last year doesn't mean you're protected this year.
Flu viruses change from year to year, and that means the flu vaccine must be updated yearly as well
In fact, this year's shot is different, incorporating new defense against new strains already seen in the Southern Hemisphere this time around.
Myth #4: FLU SHOTS MAKE OTHER PRECAUTIONS UNNECESSARY
Even if you get a flu shot, government scientists say it's a good idea to take - and encourage children to take - everyday steps to prevent the spread of germs and viruses, including those that cause influenza. Simple precautions include: Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Stay away from people who are sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water - or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Myth # 5: IT PAYS TO WAIT
Some people think they need a flu shot only if the people around them come down with the flu. But if you wait till others get sick, it will probably be too late to protect yourself. It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide full protection.
Myth # 6: BABIES SHOULD GET FLU SHOTS
Children under six months of age are at risk for influenza. Unfortunately, they're too young to get a flu shot. The best way to protect them against is to make sure other members of the household get vaccinated, along with their caregivers.
Myth #7: FLU SHOTS AREN'T VERY EFFECTIVE
The flu vaccine doesn't work all the time, but studies show that it can reduce the chances of getting the flu by up to 90 percent. The vaccine is a bit less effective in old people and young children, but getting vaccinated can help them avoid serious complications of flu even if it doesn't prevent the illness itself.
Myth #8: EVERYONE SHOULD GET A FLU SHOT
Flu shots are now recommended for everyone over the age of six months - except for people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs or other substances in the vaccine or who have sustained a serious reaction to previous flu shots.
Myth #9: FLU SHOTS CAUSE AUTISM
Some flu vaccines contain thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative that has been blamed for health problems, including autism. But studies have shown that the low doses of thimerosal are harmless, causing nothing more than redness and swelling at the injection site. Numerous studies have shown no link between thimerosal exposure and autism.
Myth # 10: ONE FLU SHOT IS NOT ENOUGH
This year only one flu vaccine is needed, and most people need to get vaccinated only once. Children between the ages of six months and eight years who have never gotten a seasonal flu vaccine should get two doses of vaccine spaced at least four weeks apart.
Myth#11: ANTI VIRALS MAKE FLU SHOTS UNNECESSARY
Yes, antiviral pills, liquids, and inhaled powders are available to treat flu symptoms. But these prescription-only products - Tamiflu and Relenza - are considered a second line of defense against the flu. And they tend to work only if they are taken within the first day or two of coming down with influenza.
Myth #12: NEEDLES ARE THE ONLY OPTION
hate injections? A nasal spray flu vaccine is available.
It's okay for use by healthy people between the ages of two and 49 years - as long as they are not pregnant.
A WBEN Photo Album:
Buffalo's Early News Gets Their Shots
Pictures of the annual WBEN In-Studio flu clinic with John, Susan, Erie Co. Health Comm. Gale Burstein MD, and staff from the Visiting Nursing Association.
Click through photo at right one-by-one, or to see a larger version of the pictures, with captions CLICK HERE
Health Officials Stress Need: Almost Everyone Can Get A Flu Shot....
(AP) More children than ever got vaccinated against the flu last year, and health officials urged families to do even better this time around.
A new vaccine available this flu season protects against four strains of influenza -- an offering that goes beyond the protection of other flu vaccines.
(CBS News) Only 30 million doses of the quadrivalent vaccine will be available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and, as Dr. William Schaffner, who leads the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University warned on "CBS This Morning," the vaccine may not be available at every vaccine supply location.
Schaffner said, "You can ask your health care provider or ask the pharmacist who's giving you the vaccine that if they have that available to give it to you because it provides broader protection.
He added, "Everyone who takes the nasal spray vaccine, a lot of kids do, will get the quadrivalent vaccine this year. In three years it will all be quadrivalent. But they're trying to make more of it as we go along."
However, holding off on getting vaccinated in order to get the new vaccine is not the way to go, Schaffner said. "At a given point, decide to get vaccinated," he said. "Getting vaccinated is better than not getting vaccinated."
In addition to the new quadrivalent vaccine, other options are available as well -- the trivalent vaccine, and for seniors, a high-dose variant, which protects better against influenza for seniors, and is covered by Medicare, Schaffner said.
In an average year, flu kills 24,000 Americans, and 200,000 more are hospitalized due to complications, according to the CDC.
Far too many young and middle-aged adults still forego the yearly protection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.
And this year, Americans have an unprecedented number of vaccine options to choose from: The regular shot; the nasal spray; an egg-free shot for those allergic to eggs; a high-dose shot just for those 65 and older; and a tiny-needle shot for the squeamish. The bigger change: A small number of the regular flu shots, and all of the FluMist nasal vaccine, will protect against four strains of influenza rather than the traditional three.
"There's something for everyone this year," said CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat.
A severe flu strain swept the country last winter, sparking a scramble for last-minute vaccinations. There's no way to predict if this year will be as bad. But it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, so health officials say early fall - before flu begins spreading widely - is the best time to start immunizations.
"Now is the time to get vaccinated," said Dr. Paul Biddinger of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "Don't wait until it's in your community."
Boston declared a public health emergency last January when hospitals were filled with flu patients, and Biddinger said he treated many who openly regretted not having been vaccinated.
January and February typically are the peak flu months in the U.S. But small numbers of flu cases circulate for much of the year, and Biddinger said a couple of people have been hospitalized already.
"That first cough or fever is not the time to think about influenza vaccine," Schuchat said.
Flu vaccine is recommended for nearly everyone ages 6 months and older. Yet just 45 percent of the population followed that advice last year. Flu is particularly risky for seniors, children, pregnant women and people of any age with asthma, heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Two-thirds of adults 65 and older were vaccinated last year. So were nearly 57 percent of children, an increase of 13 percentage points over the past two years. The number is even higher among babies and toddlers - 77 percent - and Schuchat said pediatricians get the credit for pushing flu vaccination in recent years.
About half of pregnant women are vaccinated, a number also on the rise since the 2009 flu pandemic illustrated that population's vulnerability.
But only 42 percent of adults younger than 65 were vaccinated, Schuchat said, with rates even lower among 18- to 49-year-olds.
It's not clear why. But "there are no good reasons to skip the influenza vaccine," said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University and past president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
The flu shot cannot give anyone the flu, he stressed. But while it's estimated to cut by about 60 percent the chances of getting the flu, Schaffner said it's "a good vaccine, but it's not a perfect vaccine."
How to choose among the vaccine options, including the new four-strain version? The CDC doesn't recommend one type of flu vaccine over another. All flu vaccine protects against two strains of Type A flu, typically the most severe kind, and one strain of Type B. The new so-called quadrivalent versions protect against two Type B strains.