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Influenza Prophylaxis Blog

Related terms: Flu Prevention

Almost Everyone Needs a Flu Shot: CDC

Posted 2 days 4 hours 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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For Young Kids, Nasal Spray Beats Needle for Flu Immunization

Posted 28 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 – Good news for needle-phobic kids everywhere: U.S. health experts say giving children ages 2 to 8 the flu vaccine via a nasal spray offers better protection than the traditional shot. According to a decision from the Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP) – the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine advisory panel – young children who get the seasonal influenza vaccine with a nasal spritz are about half as likely to develop the illness compared to those getting the traditional flu shot. "I agree with the panel's recommendation," said one expert in infectious disease, Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "Kids don't like shots, so the spray is a perfect alternative." The ACIP recommendation, handed down late Wednesday, was based on a review of available studies. Dr. Gloria ... Read more

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Flu Hitting Younger Adults Hard, Vaccination Helps: CDC

Posted 20 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2014 – The flu is hitting younger and middle-aged adults unusually hard this season, but getting vaccinated reduces the need for a doctor's care, U.S. health officials said Thursday. People aged 18 to 64 represent 61 percent of all flu hospitalizations this flu season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This age group accounted for only about 35 percent of flu-related hospitalizations the last three seasons, officials said at a CDC news conference. "We think one of the reasons flu is hitting younger adults hard is that such a low proportion get a flu shot, even those with underlying conditions like asthma, COPD, and diabetes," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden at the news conference. "The bottom line is, influenza can make anyone very sick, very fast and it can kill. Vaccination every season is the single most important thing you can do ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Influenza Prophylaxis

States May Be Getting Stricter on Child Vaccine Exemptions

Posted 11 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2014 – Legislative skirmishes over childhood vaccines are still happening in many states, but there are signs of a shift in the United States toward limiting "personal belief" exemptions, a new study finds. All states require children to receive routine vaccines against diseases such as polio, measles, mumps and whooping cough before starting day care or public school. But most states allow parents to forgo vaccines for religious reasons, and 20 states permit "personal belief" exemptions for parents with philosophical objections. In the new study, researchers found that although lawmakers in other states have tried to introduce personal belief exemptions in recent years, none has been successful. On the other hand, three states that allow the exemptions – California, Vermont and Washington – have recently passed laws to curb them. Basically, the states have ... Read more

Related support groups: Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis, Influenza Prophylaxis, Pertussis Prophylaxis, Rubella Prophylaxis, Diphtheria Prophylaxis, Tetanus Prophylaxis, Measles Prophylaxis, Mumps Prophylaxis

There's Still Time to Get a Flu Shot

Posted 5 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2014 – It's still not too late to get a flu shot, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. Flu activity often peaks in January or February and can last well into May, and a flu shot protects you as long as flu viruses are circulating, the FDA said. Children and seniors tend to be most susceptible to flu. But sometimes a flu virus will affect more young and middle-aged adults. That appears to be the case this flu season, the agency said. An unusually high number of severe respiratory illness in young and middle-aged Americans were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in November and December, the FDA said in a news release. Many of those cases were caused by the H1N1 "swine flu" strain that affected more children and young adults than older adults during the 2009 pandemic. Protection against the 2009 H1N1 virus, which has ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Influenza Prophylaxis

Adults With Diabetes Need a Flu Shot: Experts

Posted 24 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2014 – Adults with diabetes are vulnerable to flu and its complications, experts say. Now a large new study finds they're also at higher risk of being hospitalized for flu. The study, which focused on people aged 18 to 64, provides support for guidelines advising people with diabetes to get a flu shot, the Canadian researchers said. "Working-age adults with diabetes appear to have an increased risk of being hospitalized associated with influenza compared to similar-aged adults without diabetes," said lead researcher Jeffrey Johnson. "This increased risk is small (6 percent), but nonetheless is justification for targeting adults with diabetes to get vaccinated," said Johnson, director of the Alliance for Canadian Health Outcomes Research in Diabetes at the University of Alberta. The American Diabetes Association, the Canadian Diabetes Association and government agencies ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Influenza Prophylaxis

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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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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