Flu Season Officially Begins This Month — Health Care Professionals Urged to Receive Flu Shots

The 2010-2011 influenza season is about to start as the NC DPH Communicable Disease Branch prepares to begin its weekly distribution of the influenza surveillance summary on October 14, 2010. In the meantime, the NC Immunization Branch is urging all physicians and nurses to get a flu shot to protect themselves and to prevent transmission of the flu to patients, coworkers, family members and others.

The 2010-2011 trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine will include pandemic 2009 H1N1 virus. The CDC recommends universal flu vaccination beginning this year, with everyone six months or older urged to receive a flu vaccine.

A higher dose formulation of an inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose) for people age 65 and older will be available this season. Fluzone High-Dose contains four times the amount of influenza antigen compared to other inactivated seasonal influenza vaccines. Studies are underway to assess the relative effectiveness of Fluzone High-Dose compared to standard dose inactivated influenza vaccine, but results from those studies will not be available before the 2010-2011 influenza season. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has not expressed a preference for Fluzone High-Dose or any other licensed inactivated influenza vaccine for use in people age 65 and older.

 
 

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