The timing of flu vaccination has not changed, September and October are still the best times for most people to get vaccinated. The CDC continues to recommend vaccination as long as flu viruses pose a threat for everyone 6 months and older since 2010. Most flu vaccines continue to be produced using an egg-based manufacturing process and contain a small amount of egg protein but don’t get nervous! The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted that people with egg-allergy may receive any flu vaccine (egg-based or non-egg based) that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health status. Additional safety measures are no longer recommended for flu vaccination beyond those recommended for receipt of any vaccine.
Remember, respiratory season can be dangerous for individuals 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions. Elderly individuals residing in nursing homes and assisted living communities are at most risk of complications due to respiratory illnesses. The CDC recommends that people aged 65 years and older may get one additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine four or more months after the first updated COVID-19 vaccine. Also, the FDA authorized the first vaccine against RSV and the CDC recommends that people over 60 years of age discuss whether a single dose of this vaccine would be appropriate.
Remember, the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting a yearly flu vaccine. Even when flu vaccination does not prevent illness entirely, it has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who are vaccinated but still get sick. Be sure your residents and staff are educated on the risks of winter viruses and the importance of staying healthy, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and limiting exposure to active illness. Stay well and stay informed!