MINNEAPOLIS - There's a newer, option for the flu shot this year, you may have heard about. Some say it's virtually painless.
But its not for everyone and those who get it could notice a few more side effects.
It's the new intradermal flu shot.
Amber Mohr, a medical assistant at Fairview Clinics Riverside, tried it for the first time Tuesday.
Mohr said, "Hopefully it will be quick and painless nearly."
The intradermal flu shot has a micro-needle which is just a tenth of an inch long compared to traditional needles which can be an inch to an inch-and-a-half long.
Kris Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease division of the Minnesota Department of Health said the intradermal flu shot needle is also 90% thinner than traditional needles. She said, "It's a vaccination that's given into the top layers of the skin instead of the muscle."
Ehresmann said the shorter needle vaccine, introduced last flu season, uses less antigen but is just as effective.
After getting the shot, Mohr said it was painless for her saying, "It wasn't bad at all. I didn't even feel it."
But Ehresmann said because it's delivered to the skin and not deeper into the muscle, people may notice a few more side effects.
Ehresmann said, "Some of the side effects include itching. You can kind of have toughness, the skin feels a little bit tough at the site of injection. You can have redness, swelling and pain."
It's also not for kids.
Ehresmann said, "No, you have to be 18 to 64."
But healthy kids, age two and older, can get the nasal spray vaccine, which healthy adults can also get until they turn 50.
And the regular flu shot, frankly, is just a quick, tiny pinch.
But at least for adults with a fear of needles, there are now more options for protecting yourself from the flu.
Mohr said, "I would say give it a shot."
Ehresmann says everyone six months and older should get a flu shot but especially those at high risk of developing complications. Those include people with chronic conditions, pregnant women, children six months to five-years-old and adults age 65 and older.
If you need flu vaccine, Health Fair 11's Flu Fighter Clinics are being held at all Lunds and Byerly's locations Thursday, September 20th through Saturday, September 22nd and then again Thursday, September 27th through Saturday, September 29th. Click here for hours and more information.
No micro-needles are available at these clinics, but the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency will have the nasal spray, traditional flu shot and a limited supply of the high dose vaccine flu shot for seniors.
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