Flu Shots

It is time to start thinking about getting a flu vaccine. In this newsletter we tell you what you need to know.

WelcomeCompressed

My goal is to publish one newsletter each month to cover timely and practical issues that can improve your health. If you would like to suggest a topic or have feedback or question please email me at: steve@SteveRichardMD.com.

Current Updates

It has been a good summer. My lab had seven puppies and we manged to find good homes for them all except for the one we kept and named Blossom.

I also celebrated my twenty-fifty wedding anniversary with a trip to Vancouver and Seattle with Agnes.

I hope you had a good summer too. Getting a flu shot may help you stay healthy through the fall and winter.

woman with the flu

Its Flu Vaccine time

Well, flu vaccine time is here again!!

I recommend all patients that do not have a contraindication get a Flu vaccine A contradiction is a condition which makes a particular treatment or procedure potentially inadvisable. Check out these two websites to see if you fall into that category:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/flulive.html
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/flu.html

While the CDC (Center for Disease Control) conveys that there is no preferential recommendation at this time for any of the flu vaccines available this season and that the important thing is to get a flu vaccine it would appear logical that if it is available I would recommend everyone get a Quadrivalent vaccine. These vaccines are made to protect against four flu viruses as opposed to the traditional three.

Please see the following Key Points from the CDC:
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) 2015-16 Recommendations for prevention and control of seasonal influenza were published in complete form in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on August 6, 2015. The report is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6430a3.htm?s_cid=mm6430a3_e

• CDC and ACIP regularly review the latest scientific evidence regarding the performance of flu vaccines and take all such evidence into consideration when determining vaccine recommendations.

• There is no preferential recommendation at this time for any of the flu vaccines available this season. The important thing is to get a flu vaccine.

• CDC and ACIP continue to recommend that all persons 6 months and older be vaccinated annually against influenza.

• For 2015-16, CDC and ACIP recommend annual influenza vaccination for children 2 through 8 years of age with either nasal spray flu vaccine (i.e., LAIV) or flu shot (i.e., IIV), with no preference expressed for either vaccine when either one is otherwise appropriate and available. (The 2014-2015 preference for using the nasal spray flu vaccine (i.e., LAIV) instead of the flu shot (i.e., IIV) for healthy children 2 through 8 years of age when immediately available was not renewed. More information is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/s0226-acip.html

There are some newly licensed vaccines for this season:

1. On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of one jet injector device (the PharmaJet Stratis 0.5ml Needle-free Jet Injector) for delivery of one particular flu vaccine (AFLURIA® by bioCSL Inc.) in people 18 through 64 years of age.

2. On October 29, 2014, FDA approved an expanded age indication for the use of Flublok®, which was previously approved for persons aged 18 through 49 years. Flublok® is now indicated for persons aged 18 years and older

What’s Different This Season

• There is no preferential recommendation for any one flu vaccine over another.

• There are a few newly licensed products on the market.

• There is a new algorithm for 1 dose versus 2 doses for children 6 months through 8 years of age.

• On December 11, 2014, FDA approved Fluzone® Intradermal Quadrivalent for persons aged 18 through 64 years. It is anticipated that this formulation will replace the previously available trivalentFluzone® Intradermal for the 2015-16 influenza season.

• A new algorithm for determining the appropriate number of doses for children aged 6 months through 8 years has been developed.

• Children 6 months through 8 years who have previously received only 1 dose or no doses

• Children 6 months through 8 years who have previously received 2 or more total doses of trivalent or quadrivalent influenza vaccine as of July 1, 2015 only one need one dose for 2015-16. The two previous doses do not need to have been given during the same season or consecutive seasons. of influenza vaccine need two doses of vaccine to be fully protected for the 2015-2015 season.

• Two of the vaccine virus components from last season were updated this season.

Quadrivalent vaccines are available again this season, along with traditional trivalent vaccines.

Quadrivalent vaccines are made to protect against four flu viruses. Trivalent vaccines are made to protect against three. By adding another B virus to the vaccine, quadrivalent vaccines may give broader protection.

Quadrivalent vaccines are available in the following forms:

1. A standard dose quadrivalent shot. There are several different brands of quadrivalent influenza shots, and they are recommended for different age groups. However, there is a brand that is approved for children as young as 6 months old and up.

2. A standard dose quadrivalent flu vaccine, given as a nasal spray, approved for healthy people 2 through 49 years of age

3. A standard dose intradermal quadrivalent shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot, approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.

Quadrivalent (four-component) influenza vaccines also will include a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (Victoria lineage) virus component, which is the same Victoria lineage virus recommended for quadrivalent formulations during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 flu seasons.

Trivalent vaccines are available in the following forms:
Standard dose trivalent shots that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. These are approved for people ages 6 months and older. There are different brands of this type of vaccine, and each is approved for different ages. However, there is a brand that is approved for children as young as 6 months old and up.

1. A trivalent egg-free vaccine (called FluBlok®) approved for people 18 years and older, which can be given to people in this age group who have egg allergy of any severity.

2. A standard dose trivalent shot containing virus grown in cell culture, which is approved for people 18 and older.

3. A high-dose trivalent shot, approved for people 65 and older.

4. A jet injector can be used for delivery of one particular trivalent flu vaccine (AFLURIA® by bioCSL Inc.).

All 2015-16 influenza trivalent (three-component) vaccines are made to protect against the following three viruses:

1. an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus

2. an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus

3. a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus. (This is a B/Yamagata lineage virus)
This influenza A (H3N2) virus and the influenza B viruses components of the 2015-16 season trivalent vaccines have been updated from the 2014-2015 flu vaccine.

End Notes

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The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner, Always seek advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any question you may have regarding any medical condition.