Available Vaccines And Vaccination Campaigns
Because new strains of influenza appear frequently, the seasonal flu vaccine usually changes each year. Each season vaccine is generally designed to protect against three strains of influenza: two A strains, and one B strain. From start to finishthe selection of which three strains to target with the vaccine, to the production of the final productthe development process for the seasonal flu vaccine can take up to eight months.
Influenza surveillance centers around the world monitor the circulating influenza strains for trends year-round. Genetic data is collected and new mutations are identified. The World Health Organization is then responsible for selecting three strains most likely to genetically resemble strains circulating in the coming winter flu season. For the northern hemisphere winter, this decision is made in February prior. In some cases, one of the strains used in the previous years vaccine may be chosen again, if that strain continues to circulate. From this point, the development and production of the vaccine can begin.
Four to five months after the three vaccine strains have been selected , the three vaccine strains developed are separately tested for purity and potency. Only after individual testing is completed are the three strains combined into a single seasonal vaccine.
Outpatient Respiratory Illness Activity Map
Data collected in ILINet are used to produce a measure of ILI activity* by state/jurisdiction and Core Based Statistical Areas .
*Data collected in ILINet may disproportionally represent certain populations within a jurisdiction or CBSA, and therefore, may not accurately depict the full picture of influenza activity for the entire jurisdiction or CBSA. Differences in the data presented here by CDC and independently by some health departments likely represent differing levels of data completeness with data presented by the health department likely being the more complete.
Additional information about medically attended visits for ILI for current and past seasons:
How Does Flu Risk Vary Byage
As with COVID-19, most flu deaths occur among Americans aged 65 or older. As of March 19, almost 81% of people who have died from COVID-19 have been in this age group. This is within the range of a normal flu season, with older Americans making up 62% of flu deaths in the 2019-2020 season, 75% in the 2018-2019 season, and 83% in the 2017-2018 season.
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Flu Vaccine Turns 75 In 2020
While there is not yet an inoculation for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, effective seasonal influenza virus vaccines have been available for a full 75 years.
A global public health crisis has fast-tracked vaccine development for COVID-19 just as a pandemic more than a century ago brought the flu vaccine to fruition.
In 1918, about 500 million people, or one-fifth of the worlds population, became infected with the virus known as the Spanish flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The estimated 50 million deaths worldwide included about 675,000 in the United States.
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The 1918 Pandemic was the reason the military was so invested in getting a vaccine during World War II. They had seen what happened during World War I, said Catherine Troisi, Ph.D., infectious disease epidemiologist and an associate professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.
For the flu, annual vaccination is important because the viruses circulating will change from one season to the next.
FLU VACCINE TIMELINE
What Is The Flu
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness typically in the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza viruses. It can result in mild to severe illness and sometimes death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year with a flu vaccine. Use the vaccine finder to find a flu vaccine location near you! Find out more about flu by clicking the flu basics button below.
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Outpatient Respiratory Illness Visits
Nationwide, during week 49, 2.7% of patient visits reported through ILINet were due to respiratory illness that included fever plus a cough or sore throat, also referred to as ILI. This percentage is above the national baseline. Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 are above their region-specific baselines all other regions are below their baselines. Multiple respiratory viruses are co-circulating, and the relative contribution of influenza virus infection to ILI can vary by location.
* Effective October 3, 2021 , the ILI definition no longer includes without a known cause other than influenza.
Syncope After Vaccination Leading To Head Trauma And Death
The IOM concluded that the available evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between the injection of a vaccine and syncope , although this relationship exists for any medical procedure involving a needle stick . In a study on quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine among young women, 15% reported presyncope or syncope after the first dose . Post-vaccination syncope can result in injuries including head trauma. A VAERS case report described an incident of death attributed to blunt head trauma following a fall secondary to vasovagal syncope that occurred several minutes after vaccination with hepatitis B vaccine . Syncope is an acute event that typically occurs within 15 minutes of vaccination , and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices suggests a 15-minute observation period after vaccination, especially if the patient is an adolescent .
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Can People Have An Allergic Reaction To The Flu Shot
A flu immunization may produce an allergic reaction, but instances of this are very rare, and effective treatments can quickly resolve any trouble.
Most vaccines are developed from chicken eggs. The CDC cautions that people who have a history of a severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a healthcare provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions.
Two completely egg-free flu vaccine options are now widely available the quadrivalent recombinant vaccine and the quadrivalent cell-based vaccine.
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Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine
Nationally, influenza vaccination prevented an estimated 7.52 million illnesses, 3.69 million medical visits, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths due to influenza during the 2019-2020 season. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through the community.
It is especially important to get the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Flu vaccination reduces the prevalence and severity of illness caused by flu, reducing symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19
- It will reduce the overall burden of respiratory illness that will protect people at higher risk for severe illness of both flu and COVID-19
- The reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions from flu vaccination will alleviate stress on the health care system
For additional information, please see the CDC page: This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!
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Other Methods Of Manufacture
Methods of vaccine generation that bypass the need for eggs include the construction of influenza virus-like particles . VLP resemble viruses, but there is no need for inactivation, as they do not include viral coding elements, but merely present antigens in a similar manner to a virion. Some methods of producing VLP include cultures of Spodoptera frugiperdaSf9 insect cells and plant-based vaccine production . There is evidence that some VLPs elicit antibodies that recognize a broader panel of antigenically distinct viral isolates compared to other vaccines in the hemagglutination-inhibition assay .
A gene-based DNA vaccine, used to prime the immune system after boosting with an inactivated H5N1 vaccine, underwent clinical trials in 2011.
On November 20, 2012, Novartis received FDA approval for the first cell-culture vaccine. In 2013, the recombinant influenza vaccine, Flublok, was approved for use in the United States.
On September 17, 2020, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency adopted a positive opinion, recommending the granting of a marketing authorization for Supemtek, a quadrivalent influenza vaccine . The applicant for this medicinal product is Sanofi Pasteur. Supemtek was approved for medical use in the European Union in November 2020.
Table : Estimated Influenza Disease Burden By Season United States 2010
* Estimates from the 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020 seasons are preliminary and may change as data are finalized.
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Complications From Smallpox Vaccine
Serious adverse reactions and complications from smallpox vaccine can result in death in rare cases . Based on historical data, the death rate following smallpox vaccination is approximately one death per million persons receiving an initial dose and one death per four million among persons receiving another dose after the first dose . Death has also occurred among non-vaccinated persons who had accidental contact with vaccination sites of vaccine recipients . Reactions that can cause or contribute to death include eczema vaccinatum, progressive vaccinia, postvaccinal encephalitis, myocarditis, and dilated cardiomyopathy. Additionally, vaccination of pregnant women can cause fetal infection resulting in stillbirth or infant death . Patients should be carefully screened for precautions and contraindications prior to receipt of smallpox vaccine . In 2008, a new smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000 replaced the previously used vaccine Dryvax®. The data indicate that ACAM2000 has a similar safety profile to Dryvax® . Naturally occurring smallpox disease has been eliminated worldwide, and in the United States, smallpox vaccine is currently only given to military personnel and selected individuals that might be at high risk of exposure, such as laboratory scientists that work with smallpox or similar viruses .
Should I Get My Child Vaccinated
Yes, a flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting the flu and spreading it to others. Children younger than 5 years of age especially those younger than 2 years old are at high risk of serious flu-related complications.
Flu vaccination has been found to reduce deaths in children. A study in Pediatrics was the first of its kind to show that influenza vaccination is effective in preventing influenza-associated deaths among children.
Nationally, a total of 199 pediatric deaths had been reported to CDC during the 2019-2020 season.
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Flu Vaccines During The Covid
Did we need to get a flu vaccine earlier during the 2020-2021 flu season ?
There was no change in CDCs recommendation on timing of vaccination last flu season. Getting vaccinated in July or August is too early, especially for older people, because of the likelihood of reduced protection against flu later in the flu season. September and October are good times to get vaccinated. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later.
More information for vaccination timing for the 2020-2021 flu season
Were there changes in how and where flu vaccines were given in fall and winter or 2020-2021?
Prior to the 2020-2021 flu season, CDC worked with health care providers and state and local health departments to develop contingency plans on how to vaccinate people against flu without increasing their risk of exposure to respiratory disease, like the virus that causes COVID-19. This included releasing Interim Guidance for Immunization Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Preliminary coverage data from September 2020 suggest there were some changes in where people got vaccinated early in 2020-2021. For example, the proportion of people reporting getting a flu vaccination at a store was significantly higher than the equivalent proportion for the 201920 season , and the proportion reporting vaccination at a doctors office was significantly lower than 201920 .
This recommendation has since been .
Rapid Response To Pandemic Flu
The rapid development, production, and distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines could potentially save millions of lives during an influenza pandemic. Due to the short time frame between identification of a pandemic strain and need for vaccination, researchers are looking at novel technologies for vaccine production that could provide better “real-time” access and be produced more affordably, thereby increasing access for people living in low- and moderate-income countries, where an influenza pandemic may likely originate, such as live attenuated technology and recombinant technologies . As of July 2009, more than seventy known clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing for pandemic influenza vaccines. In September 2009, the FDA approved four vaccines against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus , and expected the initial vaccine lots to be available within the following month.
In January 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Audenz as a vaccine for the H5N1 flu virus. Audenz is a vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of disease caused by the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine. Audenz is approved for use in persons six months of age and older at increased risk of exposure to the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine.
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Deaths Were Aboveaveragefornearlyeveryage Group
Deaths in 2020 were above average for almost every age group compared to 2015-2019, according to preliminary data from the CDC. Deaths were around average levels for people 25 and younger, which is the age group least affected by COVID-19 deaths. Total deaths in this age group were actually slightly below average during lockdowns at the start of the pandemic. This may be because travel was down, perhaps reducing the leading cause of death for this age group accidents.
However, deaths were 20-50% above average levels for most age groups. Deaths among people 25-44 were particularly above normal for much of the year, since deaths among people this young are generally low.
Was The Flu Vaccine Effective In 2020
The flu shot is developed at the start of each season to protect from strains of the flu. More than 170 million doses of the flu vaccine were administered to fight the 2019/2020 flu virus. At the beginning of the year, the vaccine reduced doctor’s visits by 45% overall and 55% in children, but rates among children and young adults were higher earlier in the season compared to recent seasons.
“The vaccine has significantly reduced medical visits associated with influenza so far this season,” the CDC announced in its February 21 report.
If you have already received your vaccine for the 2020/2021 season, you dont need to get a second shot–except children under the age of 9 who are getting vaccinated for the first time.
While its possible to get the flu even if you get the shot, vaccination reduces your risk of getting sick and may lessen the severity of the symptoms if you do, explained the CDC’s Lynnette Brammer.
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Who Should Get The Flu Shot
Flu shots are important for everyone older than six months. They are especially important for certain people, including older adults, younger children, healthcare workers, pregnant women, people with a weakened immune system, and people with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and asthma.
After you get a flu shot, you might feel achy or have a low-grade fever. This means that your body is building an immune response to the flu virus. These mild side effects are not as bad as getting the flu. The flu causes most people to stay in bed for a week. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot.
Flu vaccine is safe and is the best defense against the flu. The Office of Immunization provides flu vaccination for at no cost for students in kindergarten through grade 12 at school-based clinics. Most evening school clinics are open to the public . For the most up-to-date list of school clinics and to register for a school clinic, visit schoolflu.com. There are also a number of community clinics open to the public which offer enhanced flu vaccine for people 65 years of age and older.
Click on the image or here to search for a clinic site near you.
Please note: Some flu vaccine clinic sites will not allow walk-ins. Please register online or call first to make an appointment.
Final 2019/20 Flu Numbers
Between October 1, 2019 and April 4, 2020, the flu resulted in:
- 39 to 56 million illnesses
- 410,000 to 740,000 hospitalizations
- 195 pediatric deaths
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Health officials are urging people to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible this year to prevent the spread of flu amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Contact your primary care provider to schedule your flu shot or call your local pharmacy for more information.
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I Still Got The Flu After The Flu Vaccine Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine This Year
Although the flu vaccine wont prevent every case of the flu, getting an annual vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Getting the flu vaccine may make illness milder. A 2017 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that influenza vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized influenza patients.
A flu shot cannot cause flu illness. If you get flu-like symptoms after receiving the flu vaccine, there may be a few reasons why you have a low grade fever, and headache, including that they may be mild side-effects of the vaccine. If you get diagnosed with the flu shortly after receiving the flu vaccine, you may have been exposed to the flu virus beforehand, as it takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to work.