Winter is quickly approaching and we have many things to be excited for. You can sip on hot chocolate, go out into the snow, and celebrate the holidays with your family. But there is one part of the winter season that isn’t as heartwarming, the Influenza virus.

The Influenza Virus, or simply the Flu, is most active during the months of December to February and kills 23,607 on average every year. Around ½ of Americans receive their Flu vaccines every year. The most vaccinated are seniors of 65 years or older and children from 6 to 23 months. While the least vaccinated group is adults ages 18 to 49.

The groups most susceptible to Influenza are seniors, young children, pregnant women, and people with lung or heart conditions. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stresses that it is highly important for every age demographic to become more active about getting vaccinated for influenza.

If you have health insurance, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to receive a vaccination. If not, you can go to many drug stores, schools, or participating businesses to pay for a vaccination out of pocket. These out of pocket vaccinations usually cost around $30 to $40.

There are a variety of types of vaccinations, varying from injection methods to amount of Influenza types protected against. Trivalent vaccinations protect against the type A viruses H1N1 and H3N2 as well as one B virus. Quadrivalent vaccinations protect against everything a Trivalent vaccination does, just with the added bonus of protecting against a second type B virus. The different types of Trivalent and Quadrivalent vaccinations are as follows:

Trivalent Vaccine Quadrivalent Vaccine
Standard-Dose Trivalent Shot
– Approved for anyone 6 months or older
– Manufactured with use of eggs
Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine
– Approved for anyone 6 months or older
– Manufactured with use of eggs
Fluzone High-Dose Seasonal Flu Vaccine Shot
– Specifically created for seniors 65 years or olde
– Manufactured with use of eggs
– Contains 4x the amount of antigens to create antibodies
– 24.2% more effective for seniors.
Quadrivalent Nasal Spray
– Approved for anyone between 2 to 49 years old
– Manufactured with use of eggs
– Should not be given to pregnant women or those with chronic illnesses.
Cell-Based Flu Vaccine Shot
– Approved for anyone 18 years or older
– Created with animal cells in a liquid culture as an alternative to eggs due to potential shortage
Intradermal Quadrivalent Shot
– Approved for anyone between 18-64 years old
– Injected directly into skin instead of muscle
– Needle is 90% smaller than average and uses 40% less antigens to create antibodies.
Flubock Seasonal Vaccine Shot
– Approved for anyone 18 years or older
– Created without use of eggs for those with egg allergy
– Shorter shelf-life (6 months)

Be sure to consult with a trained professional in order to find out which kind of vaccination is best for you.