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Mid-Season Flu Immunization Rates are Too Low
Date:12/10/2008

that affects on average, five percent to 20 percent of the total U.S. population each flu season. Influenza is passed from one person to another through the air by droplets released when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, but may also be spread by direct contact with influenza virus-contaminated surfaces.

The beginning, severity and length of the flu season can vary widely from year to year. Vaccination should be given as soon as the influenza vaccine becomes available, however, getting a vaccination in December or later can still be beneficial since the majority of influenza activity occurs in January and beyond in most years.

Influenza Vaccination Recommendations

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual influenza vaccination for any adult who wants to reduce the risk for becoming ill with influenza or of transmitting it to others. Vaccination also is recommended for all adults in the following groups, because these persons are either at high risk for influenza complications, or are close contacts of persons at higher risk:

  • persons aged >50 years;
  • women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;
  • persons who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematological or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
  • persons who have immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus);
  • persons who have any condition (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders) that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration;
  • residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities;
  • health
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SOURCE The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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