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Related terms: Flu Prevention

Virus Mutation Explains Poor Performance of Last Season's Flu Shot: Study

Posted 25 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 25, 2015 – The 2014-15 flu vaccine was less effective than expected due to a new mutation in the flu virus, a new study shows. The mutation in the H3N2 virus led to a mismatch between it and the H3N2 strain used to create the vaccine, the researchers explained. This meant that the vaccine did not fully prime the immune system to recognize and attack the version of the virus that circulated during the last flu season. The findings were published June 25 in the journal Cell Reports. Last season's flu vaccine was less than 20 percent effective, compared with up to 60 percent effectiveness of other seasonal flu vaccines used in the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was known that the 2014-15 vaccine was mismatched with most H3N2 strains circulating during the flu season, but this study is the first to pinpoint the mutation ... Read more

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Doctors Worry About Return of Vaccine-Preventable Ills in Kids

Posted 12 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 12, 2015 – Although most U.S. children are getting their routine vaccinations, recent trends have experts concerned that Americans will lose some of the "herd immunity" that has long protected many from serious infections. The vast majority of U.S. kids are up-to-date with routine jabs against once-common infections like polio, measles, mumps, whooping cough and chickenpox. But that "coverage" varies from state to state, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2013, there were 17 states where less than 90 percent of 1.5- to 3-year-olds had gotten their first dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, the CDC found. And nationally, recent years have seen a small dip in the percentage of young children who are up-to-date with some other vaccines, according to Dr. Mark Sawyer, an infectious disease specialist at Rady ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis B Prevention, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Hepatitis B Prophylaxis, Pneumococcal Disease Prophylaxis, Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Influenza Prophylaxis, Mumps Prophylaxis, Pertussis Prophylaxis, Haemophilus influenzae Prophylaxis, Diphtheria Prophylaxis, Tetanus Prophylaxis, Rubella Prophylaxis, Measles Prophylaxis

CDC Tweaking Flu Vaccine for Better Protection

Posted 5 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 – Having acknowledged that the 2014-2015 flu vaccine was mismatched to the circulating influenza strains, U.S. health officials have ramped up next season's shots for broader protection. Flu-vaccine makeup is determined months in advance so that manufacturers have time to make the millions of doses needed. Components of the coming "2015-16 season vaccine have been changed to more optimally match circulating viruses," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its June 5 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. There also is a version of the flu vaccine called quadrivalent flu vaccine, designed to protect against four flu viruses; two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Last year, no one saw until summer that the H3N2 strain would predominate, said CDC epidemiologist Lynnette Brammer. Work on the vaccine had begun in February, she said. ... Read more

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Infectious-Disease Expert Debunks Common Vaccine Myths

Posted 12 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 – A small minority of people still distrust the safety of routine childhood vaccinations, but one expert says the myths that swirl around vaccines are easily dismissed. "Both parents and doctors have the same goal, to keep a child healthy, and the best way to keep a child safe is through vaccination," said Dr. Nadia Qureshi, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Loyola University Health System in Chicago. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccines have saved more than 732,000 lives in the United States over the past two decades. But misconceptions about these simple but crucial health care interventions persist. One major myth is that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism, said Qureshi, who is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University. "This myth began in 1998 when an English surgeon ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Measles, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Hepatitis B Prevention, Pneumocystis Pneumonia Prophylaxis, Meningococcal Meningitis Prophylaxis, Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis, Hepatitis B Prophylaxis, Pneumococcal Disease Prophylaxis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Influenza Prophylaxis, Rubella Prophylaxis, Measles Prophylaxis, Diphtheria Prophylaxis, Haemophilus influenzae Prophylaxis, Tetanus Prophylaxis, Hepatitis A Prophylaxis, Mumps Prophylaxis, Pertussis Prophylaxis, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

Health Tip: Preventing Health Problems in Seniors

Posted 1 May 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Preventive care can help diagnose potential health problems early, protecting you as you age. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends: Getting regular vaccinations for flu and pneumonia. If you're a woman, getting breast cancer screening every two years, or as frequently as your doctor recommends. Regular colorectal cancer screening. Regular screening for diabetes. Regular testing of blood cholesterol. Regular screening for osteoporosis. Read more

Related support groups: Osteoporosis, Colorectal Cancer, Pre-Diabetes, Prevention of Osteoporosis, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Influenza Prophylaxis, Prevention of Fractures

Too Few Kids With Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy Get Flu Shot: Study

Posted 10 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 – Children with neurological disorders such as epilepsy or cerebral palsy are at increased risk for complications from the flu, but are no more likely to receive a flu shot than other kids are, a new U.S. study shows. It's possible that many doctors don't know that some of these disorders put children at increased risk for flu-related complications, the researchers said. "Our research shows that influenza vaccination in children with [neurological disorders] is comparable to vaccination in healthy children – but both rates are suboptimal," study author Dr. Michael Smith, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Louisville, said in a university news release. "More education about the need for annual influenza vaccination is needed, both for parents and health care providers," he added. The researchers conducted a nationwide survey of more ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Influenza, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Influenza Prophylaxis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Seasonal Flu Vaccine Even Less Effective Than Thought: CDC

Posted 26 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 – This year's flu vaccine is even more disappointing than previously reported, showing just 18 percent effectiveness against the dominant H3N2 strain of flu, health officials reported Thursday. That's a drop from the 23 percent protection level estimated for the flu shot earlier in the season, said experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The situation for children was even worse. The CDC panel pegged the effectiveness of the injected vaccine for kids aged 2 to 8 to be just 15 percent. And the nasal-spray version of the vaccine may not protect young children at all, health officials said. "Studies can't confirm that the [nasal] vaccine has a benefit," said Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch at CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Why the poor performance? "These low numbers, which ... Read more

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A Doctor's Advice, a Patient's Race Influence Flu Shot Rates

Posted 24 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – A doctor's recommendation and a patient's race may play a big role in whether or not people get an annual flu shot, new research reveals. Researchers from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit surveyed about 475 patients and found that 90 percent of them followed through on a doctor's advice to receive the flu vaccine. But just 58 percent of those whose doctor didn't recommend vaccination got a flu shot. The researchers also found that 93 percent of white people and 84 percent of Asians got vaccinated, compared to 62 percent of black people. They suggested lower vaccination rates among black people could reflect less trust in the benefits of the flu shot. The survey was completed by adults treated at one of six Henry Ford clinics between April and August 2013. The volunteers were also asked if they had received a flu vaccination the previous year and how they felt ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza Prophylaxis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Just Half of Nursing Home Staff Getting Flu Vaccine

Posted 4 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 – Only about one in two U.S. nursing home workers gets an annual flu shot, a new study says. "Low staff vaccination rates put vulnerable populations at risk of contracting influenza," wrote the authors of the study in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. As many as 7,300 nursing home residents die of the flu each year, according to the researchers. Researchers from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and Florida Health Care Association surveyed nearly 2,000 employees at 37 nursing homes in Florida, Georgia and Wisconsin and found that only 54 percent of them had received a flu vaccination during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 flu seasons. Previous research found that 72 percent of nursing home residents get a flu shot. Nursing home residents are susceptible to the flu, and high vaccination rates among staff can provide them with ... Read more

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Vaccine Opponents Often Cluster in Communities

Posted 19 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 – Parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated appear to be clustered in certain areas, a new study suggests. Among more than 150,000 children in 13 counties in Northern California, the researchers found five clusters where kids had missed one or more vaccinations by the time they were 3 years old. "It's known from other studies that areas where there are clusters of vaccine refusal are at higher risk of epidemics, such as whooping cough epidemics," said lead investigator Dr. Tracy Lieu, a pediatrician and director of the division of research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, in Oakland. "Clusters may deserve special outreach efforts to make sure parents have all the information they need to make informed decisions about vaccination," she said. Specifically, the researchers found the rate of missed vaccinations within these clusters ranged from 18 ... Read more

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Only 23 Percent Protection From This Year's Flu Vaccine

Posted 15 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 – U.S. health officials have hard numbers to back up their warnings that this season's flu shots are less than perfect: A new study finds the vaccine reduces your risk of needing medical care because of flu by only 23 percent. Most years, flu vaccine effectiveness ranges from 10 percent to 60 percent, reported the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the reduced effectiveness of this season's flu shot, "vaccination is still important," said lead report author Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist with the CDC. "But there are ways of treating and preventing flu that are especially important this season," he added. These include early treatment with antiviral drugs and preventing the spread of flu by washing hands and covering coughs, he said. Twenty-three percent effectiveness means that there is some benefit – a little less flu in the ... Read more

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Tips for Steering Clear of Flu

Posted 11 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 – With flu now widespread across the United States, experts recommend you take several steps to reduce your risk. Getting a flu shot is crucial, said Dr. Saul Hymes, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Children's Hospital in Stony Brook, N.Y. "It's still not too late," he said in a hospital news release. "Even though one of the predominant strains this year, H3N2, has drifted slightly and is less well covered by the vaccine, there are still three other flu strains out there covered by the vaccine, and the vaccine will likely still offer some protection against H3N2 as well." Dr. Susan Donelan, medical director of health care epidemiology at Stony Brook, said that a variety of flu strains circulate during most flu seasons. "A mismatch of the current strain does not predict a mismatch of ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Influenza Prophylaxis

FDA Shares Advice to Avoid Colds and Flu

Posted 5 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 2, 2015 – Viral infections can happen at any time, but they're more common during winter when people spend more time in close contact with others indoors. Although most respiratory viruses clear up within a few days, some can lead to dangerous complications, particularly for smokers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports. Signs of complications include: a cough that interrupts sleep; persistent, high fever; chest pain; or shortness of breath. Unlike colds, the flu comes on suddenly and lasts more than a few days. Each year, more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized from flu complications, and thousands die from flu, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States, flu season peaks between December and February. Although colds and the flu share some signs, the flu can lead to more serious symptoms, ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Influenza Prophylaxis

Many Flu Infections Aren't Good Match for Vaccine: CDC

Posted 19 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 – The flu is starting to tighten its grip on much of the United States, particularly in the South and Midwest, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. And more than half of the flu infections examined so far have been caused by the strain known as influenza A H3N2, which appears to have mutated from the H3N2 strain included in this year's flu vaccine. That mutated strain has federal officials concerned because the vaccine may not offer the protection seen in seasons when the vaccine is a better match. Still, health officials are urging that everyone over 6 months of age get vaccinated, because the vaccine will offer some protection, especially for strains that might become more widespread as the flu season progresses. "Vaccination is our most effective means to prevent influenza and its complications," said Melissa Rolfes, an epidemic intelligence service ... Read more

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Frail Elderly Might Benefit From High-Dose Flu Shot

Posted 18 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 – A high-dose influenza vaccine is better than the standard vaccine for frail seniors under care in nursing homes, a new study suggests. Researchers report that the high-dose shot produces a stronger immune response in this elderly population, a potential sign it will keep more cases of flu at bay. "For frail older adults, the high-dose vaccine appears to be a better option to protect against flu than the standard dose," said study leader Dr. David Nace, of the University of Pittsburgh. "Even in the frail, long-term care population, the high-dose flu vaccine looks like it produces a greater antibody response than the standard dose vaccine." About nine out of every 10 flu-related deaths in the United States are among people aged 65 and older, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People aged 85 and older in long-term care communities ... Read more

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

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