WebMD Medical News
Daniel J. DeNoon
Louise Chang, MD
Feb. 24, 2010 -- Everybody, not just those at risk of complications, should
get a yearly flu shot, the CDC's immunization advisory panel says.
The CDC almost certainly will make universal flu vaccination official U.S.
policy for this fall's 2010-2011 flu season, as it consistently follows the
advice of the panel of outside experts, called the Advisory Committee on
Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Now flu vaccination will be advised even for healthy adults ages 19 to 49
who do not come into contact with infants or elderly people, who are at
highest risk of flu complications.
That's only 15% of the U.S. population. But the ACIP say the effect of the
universal recommendation will affect far more people. That's because a lot of
people for whom the flu vaccine already is recommended don't think of
themselves as being at high risk.
Moreover, the universal recommendation simplifies the extremely complicated
current recommendations that create confusion about who should and should not
be vaccinated. And it makes it likely that insurers will cover flu shots for
all healthy adults.
ACIP members also said that the universal recommendation would assure
Americans that the nation's public health experts are fully confident in the
safety and effectiveness of the flu vaccine -- particularly the H1N1 swine flu
The 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine will include the H1N1 swine flu vaccine,
as the pandemic virus appears to have replaced the seasonal H1N1 virus covered
by previous vaccines. The new seasonal vaccine will also include protection
against the predominant "Perth" H3N2 type A and "Brisbane" type B flus.
SOURCE:CDC, meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Feb. 24,
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