The US pediatricians have issued an advisory to the citizens to get themselves and their kids vaccinated against flu as soon as possible. Several new and improved vaccines have been launched in the market.
With the flu season right around the corner, the diseases are lurking around the bend. Therefore the peds have made the recommendations to the families to get vaccinated at the earliest to protect from the flu.
There are several new vaccines in the market and while some of the newer ones might appear better, it’s not worth waiting for one, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in an advisory.
There will be two new types of flu vaccines available this year. One will cover four different strains of the flu, more than any previous vaccines. Another is made without eggs, making it appropriate for those with egg allergies.
“With the exception of children less than 6 months of age, everybody should go out and get their influenza vaccine as soon as the influenza vaccines are available,” Dr. Michael Brady of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and chairman of the Committee on Infectious Diseases for the Academy said.
Children who are at higher risk for complications of the flu should especially be sure to get the vaccine, the report stated. 160 children died from flu during last year’s flu season. For newborns and young infants, the best protection is for their mothers to get vaccinated while pregnant. Pregnant women are advised to get flu shots to protect themselves, also. Pregnancy affects the immune system and expectant women have more than the usual risk for getting severely sick from influenza and other infections. But despite this advice, during the 2010-2011 U.S. flu season, only about half of pregnant women reported getting a flu vaccine.
“Parents should not delay vaccinating their children to obtain a specific vaccine,” added pediatrician Dr Henry Bernstein of the Hofstra North Shore – Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, who led the team writing the recommendations.
“Influenza virus is unpredictable, and what’s most important is that people receive the vaccine soon, so that they will be protected when the virus begins circulating” the recommendations said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that anywhere between 3,000 to 49,000 people a year die from flu in the United States, and up to 200,000 are sick enough to be hospitalized.
About 128 million people, or about 42 percent of the US population, got immunized against influenza in the 2011-2012 flu season. Because flu viruses constantly mutate and evolve, people must get vaccinated with a fresh formula every year to be fully protected.