1) The CDC (Center for Disease Control), the premier institution for monitoring infectious disease in America, recommends routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons aged > 6 months who do not have contraindications.
2) Optimally, vaccination should occur in September or October of 2016, before the peak influenza season in January and February of 2017. It is a fallacy that early vaccination results in decreased immunity later, during the seasonal peak.
3) Children aged 6 months through 8 years require two doses of influenza vaccine (administered > 4 weeks apart) during their first season of vaccination in order to optimize protective antibody response. Children may get either the intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) or the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV).
4) Adults usually receive IIV. Healthy persons aged 2-49 years may receive either LAIV or IIV.
5) LAIV should not be used in the following populations:
A:) Persons aged < 2 years or > 49 years.
B) Children aged 2 through 17 years who are receiving aspirin or aspirin-containing products (increases risk of developing Reye's Syndrome).
C) Persons who have experienced severe allergic reactions to the vaccine or to a previous dose of any influenza vaccine.
D) Pregnant women
E) Immunocompromised persons
F) Persons with a history of egg allergy
G) Children aged 2 through 4 years who have asthma or have had a wheezing episode within the past 12 months.
H) Persons who have taken influenza antiviral medication within the previous 48 hours.
6) IIV should not be given in the following populations:
A) Persons with egg allergy
B) Persons who have developed Guillian-Barre Syndrome after a previous influenza vaccination.
7) Persons receiving the inactivated vaccine (IIV) can develop mild constitutional symptoms, but cannot contract influenza because the virus is inactivated ("dead").
8) Every year 30,000-40,000 persons in America, who are not vaccinated, die from influenza. This number can be astronomically reduced if only every qualified person participated in the vaccination program.
9) The following reasons that persons offer for refusal to receive influenza vaccinations include:
A) I have never contracted the "flu" in the past.
B) I might contract the "flu" from the vaccine.
C) The vaccine causes ADHD.
D) The vaccine causes autism.
E) I do not believe in vaccines.
These excuses are facile and scientifically invalid. Parents who follow this course of inaction are placing their lives and the lives of their children at serious risk of dying from a preventable disease.
As an adult and responsible parent, do you really want to roll the dice when what is at stake is the life of you and your family?
The efficacy of the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is very low compared to that of the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV). Therefore, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the IIV vaccine for all children and adults and discontinuation of the LAIV intranasal vaccine.
The CDC also recommends an annual influenza vaccination for everyone, the exception being those few individuals with a specific contraindication, such as severe allergic reaction to a previous flu vaccine, or to egg protein, or a history of Guillian-Barre Syndrome within 6 weeks of previous influenza vaccination.
Dr. Gerfin blogs about all kinds of medical issues and provides healthy recipes.