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Sunday, November 7, 2010

CDC's Recommendations for Flu Vaccine

What’s New for the 2010-2011 Influenza Vaccine

FDA Patient Safety News: Show #104, November 2010

With the influenza season upon us, the CDC is recommending that everyone aged 6 months and older get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. During the last influenza season, people needed one vaccine to protect against seasonal influenza, and another one for the 2009 H1N1 influenza. But this season's vaccine contains the 2009 H1N1 strain, along with two other strains that are predicted to cause influenza, so there is no need to get two different vaccines. As in earlier years, both inactivated and live attenuated vaccines are available.

There is now a vaccine that is specifically indicated for people 65 and older, called Fluzone High-Dose. People in this age group have the highest risk for seasonal influenza complications because people's immune systems weaken as they grow older. The new vaccine contains a higher dose of influenza virus hemagglutinin, which is intended to induce a stronger immune response and better protect the elderly against seasonal influenza.

People who are hypersensitive to egg proteins or who have had life-threatening reactions after previous influenza vaccinations should not receive the vaccine.

Additional Information:

FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Influenza Virus Vaccine for the 2010-2011 Season. Updated September 17, 2010.

FDA Press Release: FDA Approves A High Dose Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Specifically Intended for People Ages 65 and Older. December 23, 2009.

CDC MMWR. Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines


FDA Patient Safety News is available at

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