A new flu vaccine will protect against four strains of the virus. For the first time, this season’s vaccine will cover two A strains and two B strains of influenza. Traditional vaccines only include three strains of the flu.
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a recommendation that all children over the age of six months receive the immunization. Parents are urged to have their children immunized as soon as the vaccines are available.
As reported by Fox News, the strain added to this year’s vaccine is usually more devastating in children. Close to 110 million doses of this season’s vaccine will contain only three strains. Only 25 million will contain all four.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the flu vaccine reduces the chances of contracting the flu by 60 percent.
People who receive the vaccine are not only protecting themselves. They are also preventing the virus from spreading to others.
Scientists have aspired to create a vaccine to cover all strains of the flu. However, the universal influenza vaccine is still being developed. Currently, scientists are tasked with choosing the most threatening strains each year.
The strains are usually chosen by public health officials in February. The process of cultivating the vaccines is time-consuming. The strains must be grown, inactivated, then made into vaccines.
Traditionally, the flu vaccines were all grown in chicken eggs. This excluded a lot of people with egg allergies from getting the vaccine. This year, two of the vaccines were cultivated in cells, which makes them safe for those with allergies.
Although it may seem early, doctors say that the flu vaccines will last throughout the entire season.
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