Guam News Factor: CDC Urges Flu Vaccination for All Age Groups
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that individuals aged six months and older receive a flu shot in the upcoming months. However, those with severe, life-threatening allergies to any component of the vaccine should refrain from getting vaccinated.
While September and October are considered optimal months to receive the flu shot, it is crucial to continue vaccination throughout the season as long as influenza viruses are circulating. Children under the age of nine may require two different flu shots administered four weeks apart, depending on their prior vaccination history.
In the 2023-2024 flu season, all flu vaccines distributed in the United States will be quadrivalent, meaning they will consist of four components. Different flu shots are approved for various age groups, including options for individuals over 65 years old, those aged six months to three years, and individuals over the age of 18.
Good news for individuals with egg allergies, as additional safety measures are no longer recommended for flu vaccination. This means that those with egg allergies now have more flu vaccine choices for the upcoming season. Approximately 21% of the 170 million flu vaccines to be distributed in the US will be egg-free.
The CDC advises that all vaccines, including flu shots, should be administered in settings where allergic reactions can be recognized and treated promptly. Moreover, healthy non-pregnant individuals aged two to 49 years have the option of receiving the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine through an intranasal sprayer instead of a needle.
Pregnant women are strongly advised to receive either a recombinant or inactive flu vaccine to protect themselves and their unborn children. Those at the highest risk of complications from influenza include the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, individuals with immunocompromising conditions, and those with pre-existing lung or heart conditions.
It is important to note that immunocompromised individuals should not receive the live flu vaccine but can opt for the inactive or recombinant version for their protection.
In conclusion, the CDC urges individuals to prioritize their flu shots this season, as it is the most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza and its associated complications. Stay informed, stay protected, and let’s work together for a healthier Guam.
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