HealthDay News — Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations have been updated to include the influenza vaccination for the 2020 to 2021 season; the recommendations were published in the Aug. 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Lisa Grohskopf, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues updated the 2019 to 2020 recommendations of the ACIP regarding use of seasonal influenza vaccines.

The authors recommend routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons aged ≥6 months without contraindications. A licensed and age-appropriate vaccine should be used for each recipient; most influenza vaccines will be quadrivalent. Updates to the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, influenza A(H3N2), and influenza B/Victoria lineage components are included in the composite of the 2020 to 2021 U.S. influenza vaccines. The report also addresses recent licensures of the new influenza vaccines Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent and Fluad Quadrivalent, which are licensed for persons aged ≥65 years. The 2020 to 2021 influenza season will coincide with circulation of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); influenza vaccination to reduce the prevalence of illness caused by influenza will reduce symptoms that may be confused with those of COVID-19.

“The extent to which SARS-CoV-2 will circulate over the course of the 2020-21 influenza season is unknown,” the authors write. “Prevention of and reduction in the severity of influenza illness and reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions through influenza vaccination also could alleviate stress on the U.S. health care system.”


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