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Pediatricians Urge Flu Vaccine for All Kids 6 Months and Older

Posted 20 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 22, 2014 – Pediatricians are urging that all children aged 6 months and older be vaccinated for the upcoming flu season. The American Academy of Pediatrics updated their influenza vaccine recommendations to advise that the youngest kids should have two initial doses of vaccine to build immunity. The AAP also wants parents of children aged 2 to 8 to consider getting their kids the nasal spray vaccine instead of the flu shot if it's readily available. "It's important to get the vaccine as soon as it's available," said lead author Dr. Henry Bernstein, a specialist in pediatrics at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y. The recommendations were published online Sept. 22 in the journal Pediatrics. Last year, slightly more than 100 children died from flu, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, almost half had no underlying ... Read more

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Get a Flu Shot During Checkup, Doctor Says

Posted 20 hours ago by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Sept. 20, 2014 – As flu season approaches, the best way to stay healthy and avoid infection is to get a flu shot and a checkup, according to an infectious disease specialist. A primary care doctor can vaccinate people against the flu, and also address other health concerns or issues patients may have. Retail stores may provide flu shots for their customers, but they can't dole out medical advice, said Dr. Jorge Parada, medical director of infection prevention and control for the Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill. "At the doctor's office, the focus is on you and what is going on with your health. This is your time to talk about concerns to improve your well-being beyond the flu season," Parada said in a Loyola news release. "You trust your store employee to help you locate items you want to buy, not to diagnose what's causing a persistent symptom, schedule other ... Read more

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Almost Everyone Needs a Flu Shot: CDC

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 – Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "It's really unfortunate that half of Americans are not getting the protection from flu they could get," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a morning news conference. The result is lost days from work and school and a lot of preventable suffering, hospitalizations and deaths, he said. Just one-third of adults 18 to 64 – the age group hit especially hard last flu season – were vaccinated against flu last year, according to new CDC figures. Also, more than 100 children died from flu-related complications last year, Frieden noted. "Many of those deaths might have been prevented if children had gotten a flu vaccination," he ... Read more

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All Pregnant Women Need Flu Shot: Ob/Gyn Group

Posted 20 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 – A group representing U.S. obstetricians is calling for all pregnant women to get a flu shot. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), several studies released in recent years have upheld the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccination during pregnancy. "The flu virus is highly infectious and can be particularly dangerous to pregnant women, as it can cause pneumonia, premature labor, and other complications," Dr. Laura Riley, chair of the college's Immunization Expert Work Group, explained in an ACOG news release. "Vaccination every year, early in the season and regardless of the stage of pregnancy, is the best line of defense," she advised. The best time to get vaccinated is early in the flu season, regardless of the stage of pregnancy, the guidelines state. However, pregnant women can get a flu shot at any time during flu ... Read more

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High-Dose Flu Vaccine May Better Protect the Elderly: Study

Posted 13 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 – The high-dose flu shot protects seniors better than the standard dose does, a new study finds. About one in four cases of flu in older patients vaccinated with the standard dose could be prevented if the high-dose vaccine were used instead, the researchers reported. "The study demonstrated a 24 percent reduction in influenza illness among the participants who received the high-dose vaccine compared to those who received the standard dose," said study co-author Dr. David Greenberg, vice president for scientific and medical affairs and chief medical officer for Sanofi Pasteur U.S., the maker of the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine and funder of the trial. This protection is over and above the protection one gets from the standard flu shot, Greenberg noted. He pointed out that the added protection is essential for older people. "People 65 and older account for about 60 ... Read more

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Childhood Vaccines Vindicated Once More

Posted 1 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 1, 2014 – Parents worried about getting young children vaccinated against infectious diseases have fresh cause for reassurance, researchers say. A new review of existing scientific evidence has concluded that childhood vaccines are safe and don't cause serious health problems such as autism or leukemia. "Our findings support that vaccines are very safe for children, and add to a substantial body of evidence that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the very low risks," said senior author Dr. Courtney Gidengil, an associate physician scientist at RAND Corporation and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. "Hopefully, this will engage hesitant parents in discussions with their health care providers." The review found strong evidence that the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is not associated with autism, which is consistent with previous reviews of this rumored ... Read more

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Temporary Fever May Occur When Kids Under 2 Get 2 Shots at Once

Posted 7 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 – Young children who receive flu and pneumococcal vaccines at the same time are at increased risk for temporary fever, a new study reports. While parents should be told about this risk, the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks of fever, the researchers said. The study included 530 children, aged 6 months to 23 months, who were followed for a week after receiving flu and pneumococcal vaccines either separately or at the same time. The annual flu shot is recommended for healthy people over 6 months of age, and the pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for children younger than 5 years old, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 38 percent of the children who received the vaccines at the same time had a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher on the day of or the day after vaccination, compared with 9.5 percent of those who ... Read more

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Testosterone May Undermine Flu Shot's Effectiveness for Men

Posted 23 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2013 – The flu vaccine is less effective for men than women, and researchers at Stanford University believe they've figured out why. The male hormone testosterone causes genes in the immune system to produce fewer antibodies, or defense mechanisms, in response to the vaccine, they found. "Men, typically, do worse than women in immune response to infection and vaccination," said Stanford research associate David Furman, the lead study investigator. For instance, men are more susceptible to bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infection than women. And men's immune systems don't respond as robustly as women's to vaccinations against flu, yellow fever, measles, hepatitis and many other diseases, Furman said. For the study, published online Dec. 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers analyzed the blood of nearly 90 adults after they ... Read more

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Too Few Americans With Asthma Are Getting Flu Shots, CDC Says

Posted 5 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013 – People with asthma face special risks from influenza, and a new report suggests far too few American asthma patients receive the seasonal flu shot. "Asthmatics are at increased risk for complications from the flu," said one expert, Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Exacerbations [flare-ups] of asthma are common with any viral infection, but the exacerbation from the flu is particularly severe." The new study, led by Matthew Lozier of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at flu shot uptake during the 2010-2011 flu season. The investigators found that only half of Americans with asthma got a flu shot – a figure that was at least an improvement on the rate of 36 percent observed in the 2005-2006 flu season. However, despite this increase, flu vaccination rates for people with asthma remain ... Read more

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Gelatin Allergy May Mean Extra Care Is Needed With Flu Shot

Posted 8 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 – If you're allergic to gummy bears or marshmallows, you may need to be careful when getting a flu shot. Those sweet treats contain gelatin and can trigger a reaction in people with gelatin allergy. Flu shots also contain gelatin and can cause a mild to severe reaction in people with a gelatin allergy, one expert said. "Gelatin is used in the flu shot, as well as other vaccines, as a stabilizer. Because it is found in the vaccine, those with a known allergy to gelatin can experience allergic reactions, such as hives, sneezing and difficulty breathing," allergist Dr. Stephanie Albin said in an American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) news release. "Because of this, precautions should be taken, such as having a board-certified allergist administer the vaccine in a person with known gelatin allergy in case a reaction occurs," Albin added. The problem was ... Read more

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Flu Can Kill Even Healthy Children, Study Finds

Posted 28 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 28 – Children, even those without severe medical conditions, can die from the flu in as little as three days after symptoms appear, U.S. health officials warn. Between 2004 and 2012, flu complications killed 830 children in the United States, many of whom were otherwise healthy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most striking is that 35 percent of these children died before being hospitalized or within the first three days of developing symptoms, according to the report published online Oct. 28 in Pediatrics. "We found these influenza-related deaths can occur in children with and without medical conditions and in children of all ages, and that very few of these children have been vaccinated," said lead author Dr. Karen Wong, a CDC medical epidemiologist. Researchers who reviewed those deaths found that only 22 percent with a high-risk ... Read more

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Your Flu Shot May Also Help Your Heart

Posted 22 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 22 – If avoiding an achy, feverish week or so laid up with the flu doesn't motivate you to get a flu shot, a new study linking flu shots to a lower incidence of heart disease might persuade you to roll up your sleeve. People in the study who got flu shots were one-third less likely to have heart issues, such as heart failure or a heart attack, compared to those who opted against vaccination. The flu shot was associated with an even greater reduction of heart problems if someone had heart disease to start with, according to the study. "This is one further piece of evidence to convince patients to go out and get their flu shot," said the study's lead author, Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiology and clinician scientist, at Women's College Hospital at the University of Toronto. Results of the study are published in the Oct. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical ... Read more

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Egg Allergy No Obstacle to Child's Flu Shot, CDC Says

Posted 5 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 4 – The latest research shows that it's safe for children with an egg allergy to get flu shots without special precautions, according to an update on the issue. The current recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is to observe children who have an egg allergy for 30 minutes after a flu shot. It also advises that the shot should be given under the care of a primary care doctor if a child's reaction to eggs is only hives, and under the supervision of an allergist if a child's reaction to eggs is more serious. However, the new update – published in the October issue of the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology – states that such special precautions are not necessary. "In a large number of research studies published over the last several years, thousands of egg allergic children, ... Read more

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CDC Reports More Americans Getting Flu Shots

Posted 26 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 26 – Although more Americans than ever are getting their annual flu shots, U.S. health officials said Thursday that the rates could be better and urged virtually all Americans to get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "Our message today is simple. Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive a flu vaccination," Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a morning news conference. Those who remain unvaccinated are at higher risk of hospitalization and death from flu and its complications, the experts noted. A flu shot is especially important for people with medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes, Koh said. In addition, vaccinating pregnant women and health care professionals is vital. Every year, an estimated 5 percent to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu, ... Read more

Related support groups: FluLaval, Afluria, Fluzone, FluMist, Fluarix, Influenza Prophylaxis, Flushield, Flucelvax, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Fluvirin, Fluzone SV, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live, Trivalent, Fluzone Preservative-Free, Fluzone WV, Fluogen, Agriflu, Fluzone PFS

It's Not Too Soon to Get Your Flu Shot, Doctor Says

Posted 25 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25 – This season's flu vaccine is now available, and Americans should get their flu shot as soon as possible, an expert says. "Contrary to some beliefs, getting the flu shot in September is a good thing and will offer protection for the entirety of the flu season," Dr. Stephen Russell, an associated professor in the general internal medicine division at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a university news release. "Most people will only need one shot each year, but the flu shot a patient had last year will not protect them for this coming flu season," added Russell, who also is a lead physician at the UAB Medicine Moody Clinic. This season's vaccine is different than those in previous years. For the first time, the vaccine protects against four different types of flu viruses, according to the news release. In past years, vaccines offered protection ... Read more

Related support groups: FluLaval, Afluria, Fluzone, FluMist, Fluarix, Influenza Prophylaxis, Flushield, Flucelvax, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Fluvirin, Fluzone SV, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live, Trivalent, Fluzone Preservative-Free, Fluzone WV, Fluogen, Agriflu, Fluzone PFS

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