2018-2019 Flu Season
Summer is over and, in some parts of the country, the leaves soon will be changing color. The coming of Fall also brings about Flu Season. Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, and missed work and school, as well as prevent flu related hospitalizations.
New Things for the 2018-2019 Season:
- CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protection against this serious disease.
- Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses (the B/Victoria component was changed and the influenza A(H3N2) component was updated).
- For the 2018-2019 season, the nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated vaccine or “LAIV”) is again a recommended option for influenza vaccination of persons for whom it is otherwise appropriate. The nasal spray is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals 2 years through 49 years of age. People with some medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine. All LAIV will be quadrivalent (four-component).
When should you get vaccinated:
- You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu.
- CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
Information for Healthcare Professionals:
- CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) recommend that all US healthcare workers get vaccinated annually against influenza.
- The findings of a recent CDC review of related published literature indicate that influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel can enhance patient safety.
- Some employers require certain immunizations. Hospitals, for example, may require some staff to get the flu vaccine or take precautions such as the use of masks.
- Check with your facility for specific flu vaccination requirements. You will need to comply with at least one of the following:
- Show proof that you have received a seasonal flu vaccination for the 2018-2019 season.
- Document declination of the 2018-2019 seasonal influenza vaccination.
- If you decline the seasonal flu vaccination, you may be required to wear a mask when working in close proximity to patients or in designated areas.