The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the week after Thanksgiving will be National Influenza Vaccination Week (November 27 to December 3). 77 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to this point and a record amount will be delivered by the end of the year.
The CDC is recommending that people be vaccinated and that flu vaccine providers enhance availability by scheduling additional clinics, extending clinic hours and having shots available at retail locations.
Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC Director, stated that vaccination is the best way for people to protect themselves and others. She indicated flu activity typically does not peak until February so being vaccinated after Thanksgiving will likely ensure good protection.
As National Influenza Vaccination Week approaches, flu vaccine manufacturers reported that 110 – 115 million doses of flu vaccine will be distributed this year, a record number.
Dr. John Agwunobi, Assistant Secretary for Health, stated that most people recover completely from the flu, but it can severely impact work productivity, school attendance as well as other activities. According to CDC's Immunization Services Division, there have been no problems with vaccine production and distribution this year.
Vaccinations are recommended for people aged 50 years or more, have chronic illness(heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes), pregnant women, and health care personnel. A new recommendation from the CDC this year is vaccinating children aged 24 months to 59 months.
In the United States yearly, 5 – 20 percent of the population become infected with influenza, with approximately 36,000 people dying and greater than 200,000 people hospitalized from influenza complications.
Because influenza is unpredictable due to different types and strains of virus circulating during the flu season, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends influenza vaccine be available throughout the influenza season.
About the Author:
Jeanne Bohm, Ph.D. is a cancer biologist by training, a medical writer and an
experienced science educator.
The author has no financial relationship to any of the companies listed in the article