Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

As you prepare for influenza season, we want to share important vaccine updates.

2017 – 2018 Recommendation Highlights. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC continue to recommend annual influenza vaccination with an injectable influenza vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women. The recommendation not to use live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) was extended for the 2017 – 2018 season.

Vaccine Supply. Manufacturers have projected they will produce between 151 million and 166 million doses of injectable influenza vaccine for the 2017 – 2018 influ enza season , which should ensure sufficient supply of vaccine.

When to Vaccinate. Optimally, vaccination should occur before onset of influenza activity in the community. We recommend vaccination by the end of October , if possible. To avoid missed opportunities for vaccination, providers should offer vaccination during routine health care visits and hospitalizations when vaccine is available. Vaccination efforts should continue throughout the season because the duration of the influenza season varies and influenza activity might not occur in certain communities until February or March. Vaccine administered in December or later is likely to be beneficial even if given after the influenza season has begun. .

Below are some data that might inform your conversations with patients in the upcoming months:

Influenza vaccine can prevent flu illness and hospitalization. CDC estimates that influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza – associated medical visits, and 71,000 influenza – associated hospitalizations during the 2015 – 20 16 season , with a n overall vaccine effectiveness of 48%.

Influenza vaccination may make illness milder. While some people who get vaccinated may develop influenza , vaccination may make their illness milder. A 2017 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) showed that influenza vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized influenza patients.

For additional info see Who should Get the Flu Vaccine?

Posted on: January 8, 2018