There's still time to get a flu shot

February 5, 2014
There's still time to get a flu shot
Younger adults seem at risk this year, FDA says.

(HealthDay)—It's still not too late to get a flu shot, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

Flu activity often peaks in January or February and can last well into May, and a protects you as long as are circulating, the FDA said.

Children and seniors tend to be most susceptible to flu. But sometimes a will affect more young and middle-aged adults. That appears to be the case this , the agency said.

An unusually high number of severe respiratory illness in young and middle-aged Americans were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in November and December, the FDA said in a news release.

Many of those cases were caused by the H1N1 "swine flu" strain that affected more children and young adults than older adults during the 2009 pandemic. Protection against the 2009 H1N1 virus, which has circulated each year since the pandemic, is included in this year's vaccine, the FDA said.

"Influenza seasons and severity are often unpredictable. Annual influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza among people 6 months of age and older," Marion Gruber, director of the FDA's Office of Vaccine Research and Review, said in the news release.

"However, taking such practical measures as washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick can also help to decrease the spread and minimize the effects of flu," she added.

Antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, aren't a substitute for a flu shot, but they can help treat the flu, according to the FDA.

New flu vaccines need to be produced every year because different subtypes and strains of viruses circulate each season, Gruber explained.

"The closer the match between the circulating strains causing disease and the virus strains in the vaccine, the better the protection against influenza," she said.

Federal health officials have previously reported that this year's vaccine is a good match for the circulating viruses.

Explore further: US flu cases continue to climb

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about flu vaccination.

Related Stories

US flu cases continue to climb

January 10, 2014
(HealthDay)—Flu season continues to tighten its grip on the United States, with 35 states now experiencing widespread influenza activity, federal officials reported Friday.

First vaccine against four flu strains ready to ship

August 6, 2013
(HealthDay)—The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved shipping of the first vaccine to protect against four strains of seasonal flu.

FDA approves first 4-in-1 flu vaccine

February 29, 2012
Federal health officials have approved the first vaccine that protects against four strains of the common flu, offering one additional layer of protection against the influenza virus that affects millions each year.

New research finds flu shot effective regardless of circulating flu strain

June 25, 2013
New research out of St. Michael's Hospital has found that despite popular belief, the flu shot is effective in preventing the flu, even if the virus going around does not match the vaccine.

Are temperature swings bad for your health?

January 22, 2014
When the temperature tops out in the single digits just a day after highs in the 40s, it's time to bundle up.

Little U.S. flu activity so far, CDC says

October 4, 2012
(HealthDay)—Flu activity in the United States remains at low levels, federal health officials said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.