Flu season is across the corner. Is your loved ones ready?

Alicia Farmer
September 6, 2018

Children from 6 months old to 8 years old should receive two doses of the injectable vaccine, while children 9 and older can receive only one injection. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made a similar recommendation.) While the shot is still effective for those who get it later in the fall or winter, getting vaccinated before flu season is in full swing offers the best protection, the CDC says. Pregnant women should not get the live flu nasal spray either, just the inactivated flu shot.

In the last flu season, 179 children died, while thousands more were hospitalized with flu-related illness.

"The effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies and is affected by factors such as the child's age, health status, vaccination history and the strain of influenza circulating in a community", said Dr. Henry Bernstein, a member of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and an Ex-Officio member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.

There are two types of flu vaccines available, one that contains three inactive strains of the virus and one that contains four - although the AAP says one is not preferred over the other.

The CDC's vaccine reminder comes after a particularly intense flu season, which sent more than 30,000 people to the hospital and killed 180 children - the highest number recorded in any non-pandemic year since 2004, when the CDC began tracking pediatric deaths.

While it's hard to predict the severity of a flu season, Fauci said Australia just wrapped up a mild flu season, "so we're hoping for the best this year".

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That said, parents who have concerns about allergies or possible reactions to the shot should talk with their doctors, she said. Districts in Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and elsewhere have also put programs in place to facilitate vaccinations for students.

Pharmacist John Mark Carter says several people have been stopping by or calling the pharmacy and asking about this year's vaccine. It's not going to come in a couple of years. "It's likely to be an iterative process where we do better each season by getting broader coverage and more potent coverage of influenza".

Two observational data indicated that LAIV was poorly effective against influenza A (H1N1) pdm09-like viruses, and was significantly less effective than IIV against these viruses. That's not the case with flu. "When recommendations are not perfectly harmonized, it does pose the possibility for confusion".

What Vaccines Can I Get?

She also said cleaning your cellphone regularly is one of the best ways to stay healthy. "Every time you contact your face, you delight in a likelihood of introducing germs".

Story by Susan Scutti for CNN.

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