Thursday, September 29, 2011

The CDC’s Expert Flu Vaccine Commentary



# 5869


Since the recommendations for seasonal flu vaccines have changed in recent years, and there are some new options available as well, there’s some confusion out there as to what the CDC is currently recommending.


Many people mistakenly believe that since the vaccine formula is unchanged since last year, they don’t need a shot this year. Or that since they had `the flu’ last year, they are already immune.


But the flu shot’s immunity can wear off over time, and the `flu’ you had last year – assuming it was the flu – was only one strain.  The seasonal flu shot has antigens against three different strains (H1N1, H3N2, B).


So yes, if you want to be protected you still need a flu shot.


The general public can get a lot of their questions answered at FLU.GOV, but the CDC also provides information geared for doctors, nurses, and other health care providers.


Their Expert Commentary Series is a collaboration between CDC and Medscape and is `designed to deliver CDC's authoritative guidance directly to Medscape's physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.’

(Note: Free registration required to access)

While aimed primarily at Health Care Professionals, these concise briefings can also prove valuable to those of us who follow public health issues.


Last Friday, the CDC released a 7 minute video expert briefing on this year’s flu vaccination recommendations, presented by Dr. Tim Uyeki, Deputy Chief for Science in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the CDC’s Influenza Division.


You can view the video, and read the transcript at:

From CDC Expert Commentary

Influenza Vaccination 2011-2012: Recommendations

Tim Uyeki, MD, MPH, MPPimage



You can find additional information on this year’s flu vaccine at:

MMWR: ACIP Updated Flu Vaccination Recommendations
FDA Approves 2011-2012 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines


And in a personal note, yesterday I popped into my local CVS pharmacy and in less than 10 minutes, got my yearly flu shot.  


It was quick, easy, and relatively painless.


I know some people are still reluctant to get the shot every year, but you’ll find my reasoning on why I consider it worth getting in:


NPM11: Giving Preparedness A Shot In The Arm
Flu Shot Ethics