As the entire world anxiously awaits the arrival of a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19, flu season is now upon us as well, and that means it is time to start thinking about the annual flu shot. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance for getting a flu shot during the COVID-19 crisis, and it has published a number of other resources related to the impacts of COVID-19 on the 2020-2021 flu season as well. Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading
Getting the annual flu shot provides important protection for you and those around you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that, “[a] flu vaccine is the first and best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu and spreading it to others,” and it recommends that almost everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated against influenza each year.
The annual flu shot has a handful of potential side effects, but the CDC describes these side effects as “generally mild.” These side effects include, “[s]oreness, redness and/or swelling from the shot.” Continue reading
As the 2019-2020 flu season rolls on, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has issued a warning that this year’s flu vaccine has shown limited effectiveness in fighting one of the most-common strains of the flu virus. According to CNN, NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that this year’s flu shot, “[is] not a very good match for B/Victoria,” which has become one of the most-prevalent strains this flu season. CNN also reports that, “[c]hildren are particularly susceptible to influenza B/Victoria.” Continue reading
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.”
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
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
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.”
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