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With influenza cases already reported in the month of September 2022, many health officials are recommending that anyone aged six months and older get their flu shot to prepare for flu in September and October this year. Go. upcoming flu season,
“It’s totally a good time [people] To get the shot, right now,” said Dr. Aaron Glatt, MD, chair of the department of medicine and chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau in New York.
He is also a hospital epidemiologist.
Michael Kinch, PhD, an immunologist and vaccine specialist, as well as dean of science and vice president of Long Island University in New York, told Fox News Digital, “While the influenza virus can cause a serious disease in all people – regardless of health or age – the elderly and immune-compromised people are particularly susceptible”.
“It is important that individuals who are six months and older and who have not had previous severe allergies get their flu shot every year.”
“In the average year, 60,000 Americans die from influenza,” he said.
Of that tremendous loss of life, he said that “most [those losses] can be prevented by routine vaccination.”
Yet another expert weighed in on the discussion.
Dr. Fred Davis, Associate President of Emergency Medicine Northwell Health in Long Island, New York, told Fox News Digital that it sees several cases of flu in the emergency department each year. Davis recommends that people get the flu vaccine Ideally before the end of October – before flu cases spike.
Davis also said, “It is important that individuals six months of age and older and who have not had previous severe allergies get their flu shot every year.”
By getting the flu vaccine every year, people reduce their chances of serious complications from the influenza virus.
Every year the flu shot is designed to protect against the four most likely influenza viruses, which are expected to be most prevalent that year, Davis said.
He said that by getting the flu vaccine every year, people reduce their chances of serious complications from the influenza virus.
“Those who are at greater risk are [people older] Those above 65 years of age, those with certain chronic medical conditions (i.e. asthma, heart disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease) and those who are pregnant,” he said.
“The annual flu vaccine is particularly important in these groups to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from influenza,” Davis told Fox News Digital.
While federal health officials recommend that most individuals six months and older get the all-season flu vaccine, it is not advisable in rare exceptions.
Some vaccines may not be right for some individuals, health officials also said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes on its website, “There are different influenza vaccines approved for different age groups.”
The CDC notes that there are standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines that are approved for people younger than six months old; However, some vaccines are only approved for adults.
“Some people (for example, pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions) should not get certain types of influenza vaccines, and some people should not get flu vaccines at all (although this is uncommon).
The CDC also said that different flu shots are approved for people of different ages — and everyone should get a vaccine that’s appropriate for their age.
The agency notes that there are standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines that are approved for people younger than six months old; However, some vaccines are only approved for adults.
These include the recombinant flu vaccine that is approved for people age 18 and older, and adjuvant and high-dose inactivated vaccines that are approved for people age 65 and older.
Three flu vaccines this year
Starting with the 2022-2023 flu season, the CDC said there are three flu vaccines that are recommended for people age 65 and older.
These vaccines are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent Vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent Recombinant Flu Vaccine and Fluid Quadrivalent Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine.
Davis told Fox News Digital that it’s recommended that people age 65 and older get one of these shots because these are higher doses than other vaccines — and higher doses are potentially better for this age group. Are more effective in fighting the flu.
The CDC states that women who are pregnant and people with certain chronic health conditions can get the flu shot as well as those with egg allergies.
Health experts, however, also said it is important that people discuss their individual cases with their health care providers to see if the vaccine is right for them.
The CDC also states that there are rare circumstances in which some individuals should not get the flu shot.
who need No Getting the flu vaccine includes children under six months of age and “individuals with a severe, life-threatening allergy to any ingredient in the flu vaccine (other than egg protein).”
The CDC said it’s important to talk to health care providers before getting a flu shot if you’ve ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a severe paralytic illness.
It may contain antibiotics, gelatin and other ingredients, the agency said.
The CDC also noted that people who have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past may not be able to receive other influenza vaccines.
It is important to speak with a doctor or health care provider to see if vaccination is appropriate.
The CDC said it’s also important to talk to health care providers before getting a flu shot if you’ve ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a severe paralytic illness — because some people with a history of GBS should not get the flu vaccine.
Also, if you have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of another flu vaccine, discuss with the health care provider whether you should avoid a new flu vaccine this time.
“This year will certainly be tougher than the last two flu seasons, as society is reopening – and people are wearing less and less masks.”
If you’re not feeling well, talk to a doctor about your symptoms first — to see if it’s an appropriate time to get a flu vaccine, the CDC also reports.
Nasal Spray vs. Injection: What to Know
When it comes to injection versus the nasal spray flu vaccine, health experts told Fox News Digital that it’s important to talk to your doctor to see if this type of vaccine is appropriate — as there are many scenarios in which it is contraindicated. and in which one shot will be safe.
“The nasal spray is a live, attenuated vaccine, which means it is a weakened but live flu virus,” Dr. Ken Zweig, MD, a primary care physician with Northern Virginia Family Practice in Arlington, Va.
“It will not cause any problems in health patients, but it could potentially result in flu infection in anyone who is pregnant, immune-suppressed or very young – under two years of age,” he said. Also said.
told Fox News Digital that Zweig is an assistant professor of medicine at both Georgetown University and George Washington University Medical School in Washington, DC.
“There are other less common reasons for not getting a nasal spray, so anyone considering it should check with their doctor first,” Zweig said.
Zweig also told Fox News Digital, “This year will certainly be harder than the last two flu seasons, as society is reopening – and people are wearing less and less masks.”
“Many people get vaccine fatigue from all the COVID shots – and more babies and toddlers have never had the flu… so they have no immunity.”
Zweig expects the flu virus to be less likely to spread, as COVID is still on people’s minds and many people are still taking precautions.
“Most people are less likely to go to work or visit friends when they have cold symptoms, so I think the flu would be less likely to spread before COVID,” he said. .
However, Zweig is still concerned.
“Many people get vaccine fatigue from all the COVID shots – and more babies and toddlers have never had the flu, because the last two seasons have been so mild, so they have no immunity. Best way to be sure It’s a mild flu season to get more and more people vaccinated, so be sure to get vaccinated.”
Glatt also told Fox News Digital, “The flu is a very serious disease that we need to eradicate – and the best way to prevent a very serious flu disease is through vaccination.”