Afraid of needles? Allergic to eggs? You can still get a flu shot.
CLEVELAND -- Afraid of needles? Allergic to eggs? Those are no longer reasons to fear a flu shot.
This year there are six options available and there's a choice for nearly everyone.
Of course, you can still get the standard shot. It will protect you against three strains of the influenza virus, but now there are four-strain options to offer broader protection. That's beneficial for those who may work with children or the elderly. The downside is that the four-strain shot is about 30% more expensive than the standard.
Those over 65 might consider getting a high dosage shot. It has more influenza protein to better prepare older immune systems which don't always fight the flu very strongly.
Kids can't sit still or terrified of shots? They can be protected by the nasal spray. It also works for adults who have an aversion to needles too.
Those who can tolerate the needle but just don't like it, there's a microneedle now available. Really, you barely feel it and there's no lingering pain in the shot spot.
For years, people with an egg allergy couldn't get the flu shot because the flu shots were made with egg protein. Now there's an egg-free option too.
For nursing or pregnant women, they can still choose the dose free of the mercury based preservative Thimerosal. It's also not present in the nasal spray formula.
Why so many shots?
The goal is to get more than the average 40% of Americans vaccinated this year. Each year, about 20% of the U.S. population gets sick with the flu. But more options for protections may mean saving more lives and lowering the cost of healthcare for some.