Flu season is almost upon us.  As far as I can tell from the flu activity monitoring of the CDC and the L.A. Department of Public Health Acute Communicable Disease Control site L.A. County has not yet reported any significant numbers of flu cases.

So now is a good time to review the CDC recommendations for flu vaccination and decide if you should have the flu vaccine.  The following groups of people should be vaccinated:

People at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
Children aged 6 months until their 5th birthday,
Pregnant women,
People 50 years of age and older, and
People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions;
People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.

People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above)
Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
Healthcare workers.

The following groups of people should not be vaccinated:

People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
People who developed Guillain-Barr syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.
Influenza vaccine is not approved for use in children less than 6 months of age.
People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.

The Medical Letter recommends the vaccine for anyone who doesn’t have any of the above contraindications.  We expect our delivery of flu vaccine in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, if you find the vaccine at another convenient location (a pharmacy, etc.) get it.