The flu season is just beginning
In the United States, the flu season typically spans from December to February. About 25,000 people die each year in the US from flu-related complications. The latest statistics from 2011 indicate 53,826 people died from influenza and pneumonia. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated December 7-13th as National Influenza Week to emphasize the public health need for flu vaccinations as we enter the peak flu season. Availability of the flu vaccine should be widely accessible, and 7 influenza vaccine manufacturers are projecting around 155 million doses of influenza vaccine will be available this year. The 2014-2015 influenza vaccine will protect against at least 3 strains of flu (trivalent vaccine), and an additional vaccine will be available that will also protect against a 4th strain (quadrivalent vaccine). All of the 2014-2015 influenza vaccines will protect against the following 3 strains:
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
- A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus
- B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus
The quadrivalent vaccine will also add protection against additional B virus: B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.