The CDC has released the report for the upcoming 2018-19 flu season. The updates are based on the recommendations of the ACIP Influenza Work Group that meets throughout the year to ensure guidance is as up to date as possible regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines. The new guidance addresses several issues, including the vaccine virus composition. The CDC guidance states
Routine annual influenza vaccination of all persons aged ≥6 months without contraindications continues to be recommended. No preferential recommendation is made for one influenza vaccine product over another for persons for whom more than one licensed, recommended, and appropriate product is available.
CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season, even into January or later.
Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
Note: The recommendation for vaccination to be completed by end of October 2019 is also supported by the AAP
JAMA (November, 2018) has reprinted key tables from the Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics that provide information on vaccine availability, formulations and recommended ages (see ‘Learn More – Primary Sources’ below)
Vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged 6 months or older, including pregnant women.
Recombinant, high-dose, and adjuvanted vaccines elicit greater antibody responses than standard-dose unadjuvanted vaccines among persons aged 65 years or older, and the high-dose and recombinant vaccines have been shown in randomized clinical trials to be more effective among older patients in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza.
Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV4) Now Recommended
Note: ACIP recommends that LAIV4 not be used for immunocompromised persons or during pregnancy
Note: A previous severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine, regardless of the component suspected of being responsible for the reaction, is a contraindication to future receipt of the vaccine
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