Getting flu shots too early may be undermining efficacy of US’ vaccination program

Getting flu shots too early may be undermining efficacy of US’ vaccination program

Vaccinating people too early may actually be undermining the efficacy of the United States' flu vaccination program as a flu shot may wear off if a person gets it too early, various studies suggested.

It is not uncommon to see "flu shot signs" as early as late July or early August when temperatures are still in the 80s. But, studies from the U. S. and Europe have discovered that the flu shots' efficiency steadily declines in the months after vaccination.

A recent research, published by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), showed that the flu vaccine's effectiveness declined by more than half for two strains of flu virus, and diminished almost totally for another in 5-6 months after vaccination.

Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research & Policy at University of Minnesota, said there is sufficient evidence suggesting that early vaccination efforts should be discouraged.

Speaking on the topic, Osterholm said, "Until we get more data, frankly I think the very best approach is to try to make sure we get flu vaccine into people just before flu activity starts, not something convenient to when the marketers want to get people in the door of department stores and grocery stores."

However, some experts have cautioned that it would be too soon to jump to a conclusion that would require CDC to change its recommendations on flu vaccination. Currently, the federal agency advises people to get a flu shot by the end of October.


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