As flu season approaches the goal is to get as many individuals as possible vaccinated for Influenza. There are many individuals that have concerns regarding flu vaccine safety. A provider’s recommendation for vaccination is a powerful motivator and the time and patience taken by medical providers to explain the risks and benefits of getting this vaccination are invaluable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), vaccination should occur before onset of influenza activity in the community. Health care providers should offer vaccination by the end of October, if possible. Vaccination should continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating.
While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks between December and March, although activity can last as late as May. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.
According to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe complications from influenza.
For the 2016-2017season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017. There is no preference for one vaccine over another among the recommended, approved injectable influenza vaccines.
To view complete ACIP guidelines please visit: cdc.gov