Flu Season Remains MIA

Influenza vaccines for 2023 2024 are available in the United States
Flu season 2023 trends
WHO influenza map August 18, 2023
Geneva (Precision Vaccinations News)

While health experts watch reports of a tranquil flu season in the Southern Hemisphere, many people in the north are debating when to get their annual influenza vaccination.

Since vaccine effectiveness is influenced by waning, timing is essential each flu season.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently added some clarity to this question when it published Influenza Update N° 452 on August 21, 2023.

This new WHO report stated influenza detections remained low globally, with activity in many countries in the Southern Hemisphere now decreasing after having peaked in recent weeks.

Even Australia's Department of Health and Aged Care recently stated in report No. 9 that insufficient information exists to assess the 2023 influenza season's potential severity comprehensively. 

In the Northern Hemisphere's temperate zones, including the United States, the WHO says influenza activity was reported at low levels or below the seasonal threshold in most reporting countries.

And virus detections were predominantly influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, followed by influenza B and influenza A(H3N2) in the U.S.

Previously, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) FluView weekly report on August 18, 2023, confirmed seasonal flu rates were low nationally, with 214 (.08%) positive specimens detected.

To visualize this information, the CDC publishes an Influenza Summary map currently displaying plenty of green.

Regarding when and which flu shot to get this year, the CDC updated its recommendations on August 25, 2023.

The CDC now says most persons need only one dose of influenza vaccine for the 2023-2024 flu season, and vaccination should ideally be offered during September or October.

Vaccination during July and August can be considered for children of any age who need only one dose for the season and pregnant women in the third trimester during these months if a vaccine is available.

However, certain children aged six months through 8 years may need two doses; these children should receive the first dose as soon as possible after a vaccine is available, including during July and August 2023.

The CDC has recently scheduled a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity call on August 31, 2023, to update Pediatric Providers about influenza prevention and treatment for children during the 2023-2024 flu season. 

This call is essential since 168 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported during the 2022-2023 flu season. 

Furthermore, the CDC's vaccine committee made no preferential recommendation for a specific flu shot when more than one licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate vaccine is available.

Over 100 million flu shots are available at health clinics and pharmacies in the U.S. 

Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee