ICYMI: Flu Season Is Here!
Seasonal flu activity in LA County began around mid-September when 3% of respiratory specimens from sentinel surveillance sites tested positive for influenza. Peak illness occurs between the months of December and February, and disease may continue through March or later.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently published the 2017-18 Influenza Season Recommendations. The brief serves as a reminder to health care providers to get vaccinated and to begin vaccinating patients to prevent influenza.
Some key points from the ACIP 2017-18 Influenza Season Recommendations:
- Health care providers should ideally vaccinate patients before the end of October. However, vaccination efforts should continue throughout the season. Vaccines administered in November or later is likely to be beneficial in the majority of influenza seasons, even if influenza activity has already begun.
- Both trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines will be available during the 2017–18 season. The quadrivalent vaccine provides broader protection against influenza B viruses that are likely to circulate; however, the ACIP states no preference of one vaccine over the other.
- Children 3+ years and pregnant women are required by California law to be immunized with vaccines containing restricted amounts of thimerosal, a preservative found in some vaccines. Therefore, vaccines contained in multi-dose vials should not be used to vaccinate pregnant women & children less than 3 years of age.