Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's Time For Flu Vaccination

The optimal time for influenza vaccination is from mid-October through November. However the vaccine may be given at any time until the end of the flu season which will be in April. Annual vaccination against influenza is the single most effective means of protection against the disease - 70-90% effective. It also reduces complications associated with the flu syndrome and helps protect those around you who are more frail and who are at higher risk of developing more severe cases of the disease. Each year in the US alone there are 20,000-36,000 deaths due to the flu.

The only new recommendation since this more detailed post of 2006 is that there has been a new California state law which mandates that pregnant women and children under 36 months should get the preservative free form of the flu shot. "Thimerosal, a preservative that contains a minute amount of mercury in compound form, is present in the standard flu vaccine (the classic "flu shot"). It is considered to be a safe vaccine component by the Center for Disease Control.

And in case you are still not convinced, you should know that it is expected to be a bad flu season this year. Australia had a several fold increase in flu cases earlier this year which usually is a good predictor of what is around the corner for us.

References: please see above links.
Image courtesy of: York Flu Clinic.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember hearing about flu vaccine shortages in years past. Is that expected to be the case this year? Should the more healthy among us skip the vaccine so that there is not a shortage?

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

Fortunately there is no flu vaccine shortage anticipated this year.

Anonymous said...

Is Google not offering flu shots to its employees this year?

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

Yes, flu shots are offered to the employees.

Gary Colman said...

If there's even the minutest doubt about the Thimerosal, why not just give everyone the preservative-free form of the vaccine ?

aleaxit said...

So what's the procedure this year for an employee to get their flu shot?

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

Gary, it's a matter of cost and availability.

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

Aleaxit, there should be information on the internal moma page.

Anonymous said...

I didn't find anything on moma, except for last year. Have the dates even been announced yet? They were mid-Nov last year. If there is a page, can you link it here?

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

Please email me at google for this info. I don't think I can post it here.