CDC expands flu recommendations

July 1, 2000

Pharmaceutical Representative

To reduce serious influenza-related illness and death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that all persons aged 50 and older receive an annual flu shot. Previously, the recommendation had included annual vaccination for all persons aged 65 and older, but the CDC found that up to a third of those 50 to 64 have chronic medical conditions that put them at increased risk for flu-related complications and death.

To reduce serious influenza-related illness and death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that all persons aged 50 and older receive an annual flu shot. Previously, the recommendation had included annual vaccination for all persons aged 65 and older, but the CDC found that up to a third of those 50 to 64 have chronic medical conditions that put them at increased risk for flu-related complications and death.

In addition to all persons aged 50 and older, the CDC recommends influenza vaccination of the following high-risk groups for the 2000-2001 flu season:


• Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities that house persons of any age who have chronic medical conditions.


• Adults and children who have chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, including asthma.


• Adults and children who have regular medical follow-up or hospitalization during the preceding year because of shrink metabolic diseases (including diabetes mellitus), renal dysfunction, hemoglobinopathies or immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus).


• Children and teenagers (aged six months to 18 years) who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and therefore might be at risk for developing Reye syndrome after influenza infection.


• Women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season.

According to the CDC, influenza causes an average of 20,000 deaths and 110,000 hospitalizations in the United States per year. PR