Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

World Health Organization recommends changes to 2018 flu vaccine

World Health Organization recommends changes to 2018 flu vaccine

You've probably noticed that the annual flu shot isn't 100 percent effective - not just because of the differences in virus strains attacking us, but also based on the person getting the shot and whether they develop a strong protective immune response.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says improved access to nurse practitioners and family physicians has resulted in an increase in people utilizing other options to obtain the influenza vaccine.

Those 65 and older accounted for 85 percent of flu-related deaths and the majority of hospitalizations, she said.

No child is vaccinated with a completed consent form.

Flu vaccine rates were stagnant overall in the United States during the 2016-17 season, prompting health officials to urge people to get vaccinated before the unpredictable virus kicks into gear.

In fact, when they looked at influences on the day of vaccination itself, mood was found to have an even greater impact - accounting for between 8% and 14% of the variability in antibody levels.

Price, who received his flu shot at the press conference, said the vaccine can prevent serious health challenges including hospitalization.

Free NHS flu vaccinations are also available to individuals with asthma, COPD or other long-term lung conditions, heart problems, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, stroke or a transient ischaemic attack, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatment, neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, problems with your spleen e.g sickle cell disease or the removal of the spleen or are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above). Seasonal influenza vaccines are created to protect against the three or four strains that research indicates will be most common in a given year, according to the CDC. During the 2016-2017 season, the hospitalization rate was almost double that of the 2015-2016 season and higher across all age groups (cumulative rate for all ages of 62.6/100,000) than the previous eight seasons, with the exception of the 2014-2015 season.

Where can I get a flu vaccine? .

"Approximately 76.3 percent of children age 6 to 23 months old were vaccinated last season, exceeding the goal - but that was the only age group to meet that goal", Stinchfield said. As a result, the researchers found that participants had very high levels of antibody - and therefore protection - for two out of three of the viruses present in the vaccination, even before they were vaccinated.

"The science on flu vaccination is clear", said Dr. Tom Price, secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. And the major culprit has been the H3N2 flu strain, which is known for causing severe disease, especially among older people. The recommendation to not use the nasal spray flu vaccine was renewed for this season.

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