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.
Sources: CDC, REUTERS, BINGAMORE REPORTS