Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Flu vaccination expansion needed

Flu vaccination expansion needed

In the United States, influenza is the most common respiratory illness infecting millions of people every flu season.

For this year's flu season, about 166 million doses of vaccine will be available, Price said.

No child is vaccinated with a completed consent form. Flu shots are needed every year to maintain the greatest protection because the vaccine changes each season to match the circulating viruses.

The results showed that of all of the factors measured, only positive mood, whether measured repeatedly over a six-week period around vaccination, or on the day of vaccination, was associated with higher blood levels of antibodies to H1N1, a potentially unsafe flu strain, at both four and 16 weeks post-vaccination.

In fact, when they looked at influences on the day of vaccination itself, mood was found to have an even greater impact - accounting for between 8% and 14% of the variability in antibody levels.

Slightly fewer than half of all Americans were vaccinated for the flu last season, a top federal health official warned Thursday, as he called for almost every person to get a shot by October for the coming season. He says getting shots cannot only protect your co-workers, classmates, and neighbors, but also your longevity.

"I urge everyone 6 months and older to do the same as soon as vaccine is available in their community", said Price.

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For those with egg allergies, the CDC says people who have experienced only hives after exposure to eggs can get any licensed flu vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health. "This is particularly true for certain groups: older adults, pregnant women, people with some long-term medical conditions and young children", he explained.

Price himself got vaccinated Thursday during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. Research showed that 57 percent of children who were severely ill with the flu had not gotten the flu vaccine.

Among children age 6 months through 23 months, the vaccination rate was 76.3 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The hospitalization rate last season for influenza was almost double that of the 2015-2016 season, officials said. And the major culprit has been the H3N2 flu strain, which is known for causing severe disease, especially among older people. In most seasons, the higher hospitalization rates are among older adults 65 and older. The American Academy of Pediatrics later came out saying the nasal vaccine had been ineffective for the previous three flu seasons.

DOH-Pinellas also provides the flu vaccine for a fee at its centers, as do many other locations in the county.

Although not a substitute for getting an annual flu vaccine, health officials also stressed the importance of everyday preventive actions to decrease the spread of flu and the appropriate use of influenza antiviral drugs to treat influenza as part of the CDC "Take 3" approach to fight the flu.

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