Flu Season Ahead Image

The COVID Community Tracker will no longer appear in The Messenger since transmission levels continue to remain low. But, remain diligent with hand washing, staying home when ill, and social distancing from others that appear unwell because . . .

Flu is Here!

The first “Flu View” from the CDC already shows high levels of influenza in Tennessee. Now is the time to get a vaccination if you haven’t already. Remember it takes about 2 weeks to develop adequate antibody levels for protection, so don’t delay!

Age                        Recommendation

6 mos.-6 yrs.:      1 or 2 doses based on whether child has had flu vaccine in past

≥ 7-49 yrs.:          1 dose of any influenza vaccine

≥ 50-64 yrs.:       1 dose of any injectable influenza vaccine

≥ 65 yrs.:              1 injection of high dose influenza vaccine

The flu vaccine administered as a nasal spray (Flumist®) is NOT recommended in people < 2 or ≥ 50 years of age or anyone with a condition that compromises the immune system. Flumist® is a weakened version of the live virus.

Pneumonia can develop along with or subsequent to a viral infection. Particularly at risk are those ≥ 65 years of age, as well as people of any age with compromised immune system, or other conditions that increase risk. If you fall into one of these categories make sure you are also up to date on the pneumonia vaccine. There is a new version so recommendations have been updated to include it.

Recommendations for Pneumonia Vaccine

  • Age ≥ 65 and no previous pneumococcal vaccine: One dose of the new PCV20
  • If PCV20 vaccine not available: One dose of PCV15 followed by one dose of PPSV23 at least 1 year later.
  • Age ≤ 64 and special situations to warrant vaccination: discuss with your healthcare provider.
  • If you have already received a dose of PCV13 and/or PPSV23 discuss with your healthcare provider to decide whether you might need a new version.

Additional information can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines, including precautions/contraindications for each and complete schedules for all adult and childhood vaccinations.

Submitted by: Vicky Shelton, D.Ph.