CDC: Flu Vaccine Recommendations Unchanged

Flu vaccine recommended in those ≥6 months; strains same as previous season

THURSDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination of all persons aged ≥6 months in the United States continues to be recommended for the 2011/2012 influenza season, as in previous influenza seasons, according to an Aug. 18 early-release report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC provides updated guidance for the use of influenza vaccines in the United States for the 2011/2012 influenza season, including vaccine strains for the 2011/2012 influenza season, a vaccination schedule for children aged 6 months through 8 years, and considerations regarding vaccination of persons with egg allergy. The report also provides information on the availability of a new Food and Drug Administration-approved intradermally-administered influenza vaccine formulation for adults aged 18 through 64 years, Fluzone Intradermal, which was licensed in May 2011.

The CDC continues to recommend that all individuals aged ≥6 months should receive annual influenza vaccination, with vaccination optimally occurring prior to the onset of influenza activity in the community. In addition, the 2011/2012 seasonal influenza vaccine virus strains are identical to those contained in the 2010/2011 vaccine. Among children 6 months to 8 years of age, vaccination should include two doses of the vaccine -- administered a minimum of four weeks apart during their first season of vaccination -- in an effort to optimize immune response. All currently available influenza vaccines are prepared by inoculation of virus into chicken eggs; therefore, the vaccine is contraindicated in individuals with severe allergy to eggs.

"Although influenza vaccine strains for the 2011/2012 season are unchanged from those of 2010/2011, annual vaccination is recommended even for those who received the vaccine for the previous season," the authors write.

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