CDC updates vaccine warnings on key three flu shots

Newly revised warnings for three popular vaccines on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website replace the dates they were published back in 1988 when the CDC supported a campaign to get the flu shot for adults rather than children.

The three vaccines covered by the updates include the DTaP, Crixivax-1, and DTaP Plus (which protects against three strains of flu A and one strain of B).

The vaccines contain components such as live attenuated influenza A and B viruses that cannot be killed by other methods of immunization and therefore have a higher risk of causing vaccine side effects, such as tenderness, redness, or swelling at the injection site.

The updated recommendations also include these safety considerations for adults when getting vaccinated:

— Adults 55 and older should not get the flulike flu vaccine, unless their immune systems are already in good shape. It increases their risk of severe or even life-threatening complications.

— People at high risk for complications from influenza should get the vaccine: those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, children younger than 2, and healthy people ages 5 to 49.

— People 50 and older who have had three or more influenza-related illnesses in the past 2 to 4 weeks, or those with underlying health conditions, should get either the single-strain vaccine or the combo (which contains a shot and a nasal spray vaccine).

— The safety concerns highlighted by the new advisory are the same as those discussed in previous CDC updates in August 2014 and September 2015.

— If getting the vaccine is not possible, some adults should avoid contact with people who have the flu, even if they are only ill for a few days.


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