September 22, 2011
CDC Wants Everyone To Receive Flu Vaccine
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want to ensure Americans continue to get annual flu shots with a new campaign that offers them in more places and in new forms, including injections with a new tiny needle that takes the pain out of the vaccination and a nasal spray form that is especially kid-friendly, according to various media reports.
Almost half of US children got the vaccine last year, a seven percent increase over prior flu seasons and complications from flu are especially dangerous for young children, USA Today reports.
One hundred fourteen children died from influenza during the last flu season, “and half of those were healthy kids with no pre-existing conditions that put them at higher risk,” Marion Burton, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics told USA Today's Elizabeth Weise.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said at a news conference, “Eight million more Americans got vaccinated against the flu last year. That is the most people who have ever been vaccinated in this country.”
Frieden is recommending that everyone over 6 months of age get a flu shot this year and every year. “It´s getting easier to do that in terms of the ways you can get vaccinated and the amount of vaccine available,” he told the briefing.
“Right now flu infections in the US are still at low levels,” Frieden says. “Flu season typically doesn´t peak until Jan. or Feb. but it´s unpredictable. The starting gates are open.”
Eighty-five million doses of influenza vaccine are ready for distribution in doctors´ offices, public health clinics, pharmacies and retail stores. Pharmacists in all 50 US states are now allowed to administer influenza vaccine.
Dr. William Schaffner, of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases explained to Reuters: “Our goal is to make annual vaccination a no-brainer among all age groups,”
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