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CDC Advisory Committee Recommends Flu Vaccination for All People Ages 6 Months and Older During 2010-2011 Flu Season
February 25, 2010
The Center's For Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday to report on the current state of the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and to discuss steps to prevent and control the virus moving forward.
The CDC’s Influenza Division reported that the H1N1 flu was most widespread in the United States in late October and early November. October 2009 saw the highest rate of flu illness of any flu season since surveillance began. Children ages 5 – 17 were most likely to be hospitalized from the H1N1 flu virus. The majority of people who were hospitalized had an underlying condition, with asthma being the most common.
The CDC Influenza Division also reported that H1N1 viruses from over 100 countries have been characterized and virtually all of them are similar to the strain of H1N1 included in the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine. The H1N1 virus has not changed significantly since it was first recognized in spring 2009 and remains responsive to antiviral treatment.
The CDC’s Immunization Services Division reported that as of mid February, 126 million doses of vaccine had been ordered by states and that innovative school based vaccination programs were effective in reaching children who were in the target groups for vaccination.
The ACIP also voted to expand the recommendation for annual influenza vaccination to include all people aged 6 months and older. The recommendation will take effect in the 2010 – 2011 influenza season. The previous recommendation focused on vaccinating those who are at increased risk for complications from the flu.