(BlackDoctor.org) — For the second year in a row, U.S. health experts are urging all Americans to get a flu shot, even though the circulating strains of flu have not changed since the 2010-2011 flu season.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said recently that the recommendation applies to everyone over 6 months of age — even those who got flu shots last year against the same flu strains.
This year’s vaccine protects against H1N1 swine flu and two other flu strains called H3N2 and influenza B.
The CDC said it was possible that immunity provided from last year’s flu shots — which included the H1N1 pandemic flu strain — may have faded.
The new recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which were published in the agency’s weekly report on death and disease, also cover Sanofi’s newly approved Fluzone Intradermal vaccine for adults aged 18 to 64.
The vaccine, which uses a short needle and delivers the vaccine into the skin rather than the muscle, can be used as an alternative to traditional vaccines.
Eventually this season, the CDC officials said, the five companies that make flu vaccine for the U.S. market expect to provide 166 million doses of vaccine. That compares with 157 million doses distributed last year.
In addition to Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, AstraZeneca unit MedImmune, and CSL make flu vaccine for the U.S. market.
‘PLENTY OF VACCINE’