For flu shots, there's more than one choice

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Flu season is right around the corner, and that means now is the time to get a flu shot. (WPVI)

Flu season is right around the corner, and that means now is the time to get a flu shot.

While most insurance plans cover the standard vaccine, Consumer Reports says there are other types to consider.

For the broadest protection, Consumer Reports says consider the new quadrivalent vaccine over the standard trivalent type.

"The trivalent vaccine protects against three strains of the flu virus, and the quadrivalent vaccine protects against four. But if that one isn't covered under your insurance policy, you'll have to pay about 38 dollars out of pocket," said Dr. Orly Avitzur of Consumer Reports.

For children ages 2 to 8, the FluMist spray gives better protection than a shot.

But, they may need a second dose given a month later.

"The nasal spray is made of a weakened but still active live virus. So it shouldn't be given to people with a poor immune system or their caregivers, pregnant women, or anyone over 50," said Dr. Avitzur.

So how effective is the vaccine?

"The vaccine prevents illness about 80 percent of the time for those under 60 and about half the time for those over 65. But even if you do get sick after the vaccine, your symptoms are usually milder," said Dr. Avitzur.

Many county health departments start their community flu shot clinics October 1st.

But the vaccine is also available at almost any pharmacy.

For a list of places to find a flu vaccine near you, visit www.vaccines.gov
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