Article by Pharmacy Times

“Flu season is approaching soon, and it is a great time for pharmacists to educate patients on the importance of the annual influenza vaccine. Influenza can cause serious illness and death, especially among older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and individuals with certain chronic medical conditions. Below, please find 5 things you should know about the upcoming flu season.

The live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) should not be used. FluMist Quadrivalent (LAIV4) should not be used during the 2017-2018 flu season due to concerns regarding its efficacy. Studies demonstrate low effectiveness against influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 in the United States during the 2013-14 and 2015-2016 seasons.

Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate vaccine. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe illness and complications from influenza than patients who are not pregnant due to changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy. Vaccination during pregnancy also protects infants from influenza through the passage of antibodies. This is especially important since infants cannot receive the influenza vaccine until they are 6 months of age. The influenza vaccine can be administered at any time during pregnancy.”

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