Flu Shot Recommendations for Pregnancy, Asthma and Other Medical Conditions

While getting vaccinated against influenza is important for everyone, the flu shot can have particular benefits for individuals with certain health conditions. As an infectious disease specialist recently told NPR:

“As we get older, more of us get heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, asthma. . . . Those diseases predispose us to complications of flu — pneumonia, hospitalization or death. We need to make vaccination a routine part of chronic health management.”

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CDC: Infant Flu Hospitalizations are Significantly Higher than Expected

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

CDC Releases FAQs for the 2019-2020 Flu Season

The 2019-2020 flu season is here. Each flu season, well over 100 million Americans get vaccinated, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that, on average, the flu shot protects 40 to 60 percent of recipients against infection annually.

5 Highlights from the CDC’s 2019-2020 Flu Season FAQs

For individuals and parents who have questions about the annual flu shot, the best thing to do is to consult with your physician. However, the CDC has also published answers to a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about the flu vaccine for the 2019-2020 flu season. Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading

CDC: Flu Shot Reduces Pregnant Women’s Risk of Hospitalization Due to Infection by 40 Percent

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend an annual flu shot for everyone beginning at six months of age, subject to limited exceptions for individuals who present certain risk factors. The general recommendation to get vaccinated includes women who are pregnant. According to the CDC:

“Getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. Pregnant women should get a flu shot and not the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as nasal spray flu vaccine. Flu vaccines given during pregnancy help protect both the mother and her baby from flu. Vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by up to one-half… Pregnant women who get a flu vaccine are also helping to protect their babies from flu illness for the first several months after their birth, when they are too young to get vaccinated.”

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U.S. Researchers are Investigating an Oral Flu Vaccine

According to a recent article in MD Magazine, scientists at a private research company have made significant progress toward the development of an oral flu vaccine. As stated in the article, the researchers at Vaxart, Inc., “have found that an oral tablet for influenza vaccination can protect against infection just as well as – if not better than – a commercial injectable quadrivalent influenza vaccine.”

The oral flu vaccine recently underwent Phase 2 clinical trials, reportedly with very favorable results. MD Magazine reports that: Continue reading