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Cardinal Health Helps Health Care Providers Prepare for 2010-2011 Flu Season
Date:9/30/2010

DUBLIN, Ohio, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Although last year's flu season was marked by a particularly aggressive strain of the illness and associated vaccine shortages, pharmacy experts at Cardinal Health expect the vaccine to be in ample supply for the 2010-2011 flu season.

The upcoming 2010-2011 flu season marks the first time that the federal government's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued a universal vaccination recommendation, encouraging everyone over six months of age to get a flu vaccine unless otherwise instructed by their physician (1).

Kristi Kuper, PharmD, BCPS, clinical director of infectious disease for Cardinal Health, says that while ACIP recommended that high-risk populations, including pregnant women, the elderly and young children, be among the first to receive the vaccine last year; there's no need to prioritize the vaccine this year.

"Our analysis of supply versus anticipated demand indicates that everyone should have timely access to the flu vaccine this year," said Kuper. "We are encouraging hospital and retail pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other health care providers to get vaccinated and to encourage others to get vaccinated, too, especially children."

The 2009-2010 (2) flu season claimed more than 60 million documented cases of influenza, leading to more than 270,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths. While the H1N1 strain will still be circulating during the 2010-2011 flu season, experts predict that three factors will likely lead to lower infection rates this year. First, many will have partial protective immunity from a previous infection. Second, the ample availability of flu vaccines this year should provide everyone the opportunity to get vaccinated; and third, unlike last year when two flu shots were required for maximum protection, this year's flu vaccine will contain both the seasonal influenza strains and the 2009 novel H1N1 strain, so adults will only need a single s
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SOURCE Cardinal Health
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