2017-2018 FLU FAQ's


Quick Links

2017-18 OCHD Flu Brochure

New Flu Information for 2017-2018

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

What flu vaccines is the OCHD offering this year?

Options this season include:

  • Standard dose flu shots. Intramuscular injection that includes 4 flu strains. Ages 6 months and up.
  • High-dose shot. Intramuscular injection that includes 3 flu strains and contains more antigen for a stronger immune response.  Ages 65 years and up.
  • Intradermal flu shot. Intradermal injection that includes 4 flu strains. Ages 18 – 64 years.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

  • Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even by some schools.
  • The Ocean County Health Department holds numerous clinics throughout the County for the convenience of our residents. Click here to access our 2017-18 Flu Brochure. 

What viruses do 2017-2018 flu vaccines protect against?

There are many flu viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common. For 2017-2018, three-component vaccines are recommended to contain:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated),
  • A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus and a
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Victoria lineage).

Four component vaccines are recommended to include the same three viruses above, plus an additional B virus called B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage).

When and how often should I get vaccinated?

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October, if possible. However, getting vaccinated later is OK. Vaccination should continue throughout the flu season, even in January or later.

Protective Actions

What should I do to protect myself from flu this season?

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.

In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. In addition, there are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat influenza illness.

Can I get vaccinated and still get the flu?

Yes. It’s possible to get sick with the flu even if you have been vaccinated (although you won’t know for sure unless you get a flu test). This is possible for the following reasons:

  • You may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in you becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect you. (About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection develop in the body.)
  • You may be exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different flu viruses that circulate every year. The flu vaccine is made to protect against the three or four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common.

Unfortunately, some people can become infected with a flu virus the flu vaccine is designed to protect against, despite getting vaccinated. Protection provided by flu vaccination can vary widely, based in part on health and age factors of the person getting vaccinated. In general, the flu vaccine works best among healthy younger adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination. Flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, but it is the best way to protect against flu infection.


Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

The Clinic Services division of the Ocean County Health Department can be reached directly at 732-341-9700, ext. 7604.  We will gladly answer any other questions you may have.  Our hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm.

Who should get vaccinated flu shot?

All people six months of age and older should get the flu shot.  Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of severe influenza (flu) and their close contacts, including healthcare personnel and close contacts of children under the age of six months.

People at high risk for complications from influenza:

  • People 65 years of age and older.
  • Residents of long-term care facilities housing persons with chronic medical conditions.
  • People who have long-term health problems with:
         - heart disease - kidney disease
         - lung disease - metabolic disease, such as diabetes
         - asthma - anemia, and other blood disorders
  • People with certain muscle or nerve disorders (such as seizure disorders or severe cerebral palsy) that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems.
  • People with a weakened immune system due to:
         - HIV/AIDS or other diseases affecting the immune system
         - long-term treatment with drugs such as steroids
         - cancer treatment with x-rays or drugs
  • People 6 months to 18 years of age on long-term aspirin treatment (these people could develop Reye
       Syndrome if they got influenza).
  • Women who will be pregnant during influenza season.
  • All children 6-59 months of age.
  • People who can spread influenza to those at high risk:
  • Household contacts and out-of-home caretakers of children from 0-59 months of age.
  • Physicians, nurses, family members, or anyone else in close contact with people at risk of serious influenza.

Influenza vaccine is also recommended for adults 50-64 years of age and anyone else who wants to reduce their chance of getting influenza.

A yearly influenza vaccination should be considered for:

  • People who provide essential community services.
  • People living in dormitories or under other crowded conditions, to prevent outbreaks.
  • People at high risk of influenza complications who travel to the Southern hemisphere between April and September, or to the tropics or in organized tourist groups at any time.

What is Influenza (also called Flu)?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent this illness is by getting a flu vaccination each fall.

Every year in the United States, on average:

  • 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu;
  • more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and;
  • about 36,000 people die from flu.

Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

Symptoms of Flu

Symptoms of flu include:

  • fever (usually high)
  • headache
  • extreme tiredness
  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle aches
  • Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults


Complications of Flu

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections.