Great News Needle-phobic Parents: New Flu Shot Uses Tiny Needle

If you are among the many moms and dads who are scared of needles, this year’s flu shot might be a lot less scary. Ninety percent less scary, that is!

Have you seen the cute Fluzone hedgehog commercial? The new intradermal needle is 90% shorter!

The new intradermal flu vaccine uses a 90% smaller needle to inject the vaccine into the skin, instead of muscle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the intradermal vaccine not only requires a smaller needle but it has 40% less antigen that the regular flu shot while still being as effective as the traditional vaccine. Antigen is the part of the vaccine that helps your body build protection against flu viruses and since each intradermal vaccine requires less than the traditional shot, more doses can be made from the same amount of antigen.

The intradermal vaccine is designed to protect against the three strains of flu deemed most likely to be the most prevalent this flu season as determined by flu research. It is recommended for adults ages 18 through 64. Unfortunately, it has not yet been approved for children younger than 18, but the traditional flu vaccine shot and nasal spray flu vaccines are still available for those who fall outside the age range for the intradermal shot. Consult the CDC Seasonal Influenza guidelines to help you decide which form of the vaccine is appropriate for you and your family members, and if you have any concerns, consult your healthcare provider.

Flu season typically peaks in the winter months, but the CDC recommends getting vaccinated as soon as the influenza vaccine is available, since it can take two weeks for your body to develop the necessary antibodies to protect you. With flu shots widely available at doctor’s offices, pharmacies and flu shot clinics, it is more convenient and easier than ever to get vaccinated and protect yourself and your family from the flu this season.

For more information about the intradermal and traditional flu vaccines, please visit the CDC for up to date seasonal flu information.


Editor’s Note: For those of you with little ones whose needle-phobia rivals your own, consider reading the story of Buzzy by Dr Amy Baxter. Not only did she create an innovative way to help reduce the pain of getting a shot but she also has some terrific hints to help overcome your child’s stress before and during their visit to the doctor).

Now it’s a little easier for all of you to be brave – so go ahead and get your flu shots…and have a safe and healthy winter. 🙂

About the Author

Tamara Walker, R.N., aka “MomRN”, is the mom of two teenagers, a registered nurse, a child safety expert and instructor, and host of the “Ask MomRN Show”. Her passions are to help parents as they navigate the journey through parenthood and to protect children of all ages. Her websites are and MomRN has been a member of the PedSafe Expert team


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