As flu season draws to a close, many people are realizing that they never got around to getting their annual flu shot. With everything going at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021, this is understandable. Despite low vaccination rates, the 2020-2021 flu season was one of the least-impactful on record (due in large part to social distancing and mask-wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19), and the low number of flu-related deaths is being viewed as one of the few silver linings of the pandemic. Continue reading
In prior years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised that individuals who have egg allergies should consult with their physicians prior to getting the flu shot. This is because certain formulations of the flu shot are manufactured with egg proteins, and exposure to these proteins has the potential to cause a hypersensitivity reaction among individuals with egg allergies.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published an updated version of its guide for parents titled, Your Child’s First Vaccines: What You Need to Know. In addition to being posted on the CDC’s website, the guide is also available in .PDF format, and the CDC encourages doctors to provide parents with a copy of the guide when they bring their children in for their first immunizations. Continue reading
Among the many concerns raised by the COVID-19 crisis, one question many people have is whether they should still get their annual flu shot. The 2020-2021 flu season is here, and this is the time of year when many individuals and families visit their doctors, pharmacies and health departments to get vaccinated. Continue reading
During pregnancy, vaccinations can provide protection against certain diseases for both the mother and the child. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, “Pregnant women share everything with their babies. That means when a pregnant woman gets vaccines, she isn’t just protecting [herself]— she is giving the baby some early protection too.”
While the CDC provides general vaccine recommendations for adults, it provides certain specific recommendations for women who are pregnant. If you are expecting a child, it will be important for you to speak with your doctor about getting vaccinated during your pregnancy. Continue reading
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infant flu hospitalizations in several countries are “at least double previous estimates.” Although the list of countries does not include the United States, the study nonetheless sheds light on some important considerations for health care providers and parents domestically. Continue reading
While receiving vaccinations is a safe and effective means for combatting disease, there are certain diseases and medical conditions that can increase an individual’s risk of an adverse reaction or other negative side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refer to these as “contraindications” and “precautions,” and it advises that:
“Contraindications (conditions in a recipient that increases the risk for a serious adverse reaction) and precautions to vaccination are conditions under which vaccines should not be administered. Because the majority of contraindications and precautions are temporary, vaccinations often can be administered later when the condition leading to a contraindication or precaution no longer exists. A vaccine should not be administered when a contraindication is present. . . . However, certain conditions are commonly misperceived as contraindications (i.e., are not valid reasons to defer vaccination).”
The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has recently been in the news as a result of reports of measles outbreaks in several parts of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outbreaks have been reported in California, Illinois, New York, Texas and Washington, with more cases of measles already confirmed in 2019 (269 as of March 14) than all of 2016 and 2017 combined (206).
While the CDC recommends vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella for most individuals (with limited exceptions for pregnant women and individuals with certain other health conditions), “[d]uring an outbreak is when you see an influx of patients who would otherwise be vaccine-hesitant,” according to an infection control nurse in Washington quoted by CNN. Unfortunately, although getting the MMR vaccine can significantly reduce an individual’s risk of contracting measles, it carries certain risks as well. Continue reading
Each month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publish a newsletter highlighting recent news and updates in the world of immunizations. The CDC provides this newsletter, titled Immunization Works, to “national health care provider and consumer groups for distribution to their members and constituencies.” However, it is also free to the public online. Continue reading
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination as the best way to prevent the spread of the flu and other diseases, it also says that certain people should not get vaccinated. Since not getting vaccinated carries obvious risks, anyone who has questions about whether it is safe to receive a particular vaccination should consult their doctor.
The CDC provides specific recommendations for each approved vaccine with regard to the health risks that may outweigh the benefits of vaccination. Generally speaking, however, the types of factors that may lead your doctor to recommend against getting vaccinated include the following. Continue reading