The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has reissued its recommendation for flu shots, and this time it has been joined by recommendations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The FDA is recommending that anyone over the age of six months be vaccinated. The agency also notes that seasonal vaccines have a strong safety record.
With health agencies predicting a strong flu season, six influenza vaccine manufacturers are predicting that 135 million doses of the vaccine will be given during the 2012-2013 flue season.
According to the CDC, of the 135 million doses of flu vaccines, 62 million will be thimersal-free, a preservative agent used in flu vaccines.
The Food and Drug Administration warns that the flu vaccine takes up to two weeks to become effective. Because the shot can take weeks to protect the body, all three agencies are urging patients to receive the flu vaccination as soon as possible.
Most at risk at this time appears to be residents in the southeastern parts of the United States. The CDC is reporting higher than normal activity in the southwest. Health agencies warn that the flu season has had its earliest start nearly a decade, and therefore extra precautions should be taken.
If you feel as though you may have the flu, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Have you had the flu shot administered this year?