CDC Health Advisory - Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Activity and Antiviral Treatment of Patients with Influenza
On December 27, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided:
- a notice about increased influenza A (H3N2) activity and its clinical implications:
- a summary of influenza antiviral drug treatment recommendations;
- an update about approved treatment drugs and supply this season; and
- background information for patients about influenza treatment.
Background and Recommendations:
Protect your Patients from Flu this Season
All persons 6 months and older should be vaccinated annually.
Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe complications from influenza as well as those people who live with or care for persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications, including health care personnel.
There are special considerations regarding vaccination of persons with history of egg allergy.
CDC information about available flu vaccines for the 2017-18 season can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vax-summary.htm.
Providers Caring for Older Adults
Health care providers caring for older adults have an important role in ensuring patients know their risk from influenza. Talk to your patients about the flu and what flu vaccines are available for them this season.
People 65 years and older can get any injectable vaccine (flu shot) that is approved for use in that age group, with no preferential recommendation for any licensed, recommended vaccine. There are two influenza vaccines designed specifically for people 65 and older:
- The “high dose flu vaccine,” Fluzone High Dose® contains 4 times the amount of antigen as regular flu shots. It is associated with a stronger immune response following vaccination (higher antibody production).
- The adjuvanted vaccine, Fluad®, is a standard dose flu vaccine with an added adjuvant. An adjuvant is an ingredient added to a vaccine to help create a stronger immune response to vaccination.