United States: 2011 National Influenza Vaccination WeekArchived
The US initiative raises the question of whether there should be a similar initiative in Europe, for example in support of the E.U. Council Recommendation on Seasonal Influenza Immunisation
ECDC Public Health Development 2011-12-12
United States: 2011 National Influenza Vaccination WeekUS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, United States - December 2011
Since 2005 the first week of December has been nominated by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other stakeholders as the National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). This is to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the winter (holiday) season and beyond. Events organised at national and local level in the US include press briefings, radio interviews by CDC influenza experts, health fairs, influenza clinics and education opportunities. These are taking place to emphasize the importance of flu vaccination around the USA. In addition, CDC emphasises the importance of vaccinating even at a later stage in the season due to the fact that influenza in the US normally peaks around January/February each year, lasting until as late as May some years. At present the CDC recommends a yearly influenza vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza viruses.
Apart from this advice to vaccinate the general population, CDC also stresses the importance of vaccinating high risk groups, because of their higher risk of developing influenza-related complications. The CDC list includes the following: pregnant women, children younger than 5 years old (especially those between 6 months and 2 years of age), people 65 years of age and older, and people of any age with chronic medical and physical conditions. The recommendations are extended to people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from influenza (including carers of children younger than 6 months old).
ECDC Comment (12 December 2011):
The US initiative raises the question of whether there should be a similar initiative in Europe, for example in support of the E.U. Council Recommendation on Seasonal Influenza Immunization (1, 2). As a possible precursor ECDC and European Parliamentarians recently organized a workshop on seasonal influenza immunization at the European Parliament (3).
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