Flu season is coming: CDC announces flu shot recommendations

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Flu season is coming: CDC announces flu shot recommendations


Summer is soon coming to an end, and health officials are planning ahead for flu season. On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made its annual flu shot recommendations for health professionals ahead of flu season.

They again underscore the importance of flu shots: Preliminary estimates show that last season, people vaccinated against the flu were about 40% to 70% less likely to be hospitalized because of flu illness or related complications, according to the CDC.

The public agency maintains the effectiveness of flu vaccines depends, in part, on the match between the vaccine viruses and circulating viruses.

Here’s what to know about this year’s recommendations:

What’s different about flu vaccines for people with egg allergies this year?

This year’s recommendations bring good news for people with egg allergies.

Typically, flu vaccines are produced using an egg-based manufacturing process and contain a small amount of egg proteins, according to the CDC.

Previously, it was recommended that those with egg-related allergies get their vaccine under the supervision of a health care provider who is “able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions if an egg-based vaccine is used.”

This, according to the report, is no longer necessary.

“Egg allergy alone necessitates no additional safety measures for influenza vaccination beyond those recommended for any recipient of any vaccine, regardless of severity of previous reaction to egg,” the report says.

Who should get a flu vaccine?

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months or older get a flu vaccine each year, as long as they do not have certain symptoms or conditions.

Those who should consult a medical professional about flu vaccines may be immunocompromised, have a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine, children between 2-4 who have received a diagnosis of asthma or people who are pregnant.

When should you get your vaccine?

September and October remain the best times for most people to get their flu vaccine, according to the CDC.

For most people, it’s not recommended to get a flu vaccination in July or August.

It’s further suggested in the report that vaccination should continue after October and throughout the given flu season since “influenza activity might not occur in certain communities until February, March, or later.” The CDC also recommends vaccination “as long as flu viruses pose a threat.”

The report says the start, peak and decline of each flu season cannot be predicted and the ideal time to start vaccination can change.

Can you take multiple vaccines at the same time?

There are multiple vaccines that can protect against respiratory viruses: Flu, COVID-19 and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Both the RSV and COVID-19 vaccines are relatively new.

It is safe to get a flu and COVID-19 shot at the same time, experts say. The two were often administered simultaneously during the last two flu seasons.

In May, the Food and Drug Administration approved the world’s first RSV vaccine to protect adults 60 and older from the worst consequences of RSV, a common respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, including nose and throat. 

Since it is so new, information on receiving the new RSV vaccine at the same time as others, like the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, is limited and evolving, according to the report. 

The CDC has not made any recommendations on the matter.

Originally published on usatoday.com.

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