Fast Five Quiz: Key Aspects of Influenza

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


November 25, 2019

According to the ACIP, these individuals (not ranked in any order) are at higher risk for medical complications due to severe influenza and should be prioritized when vaccine supply is limited:

  • Children aged 6 months through 59 months

  • Individuals aged 50 years and older

  • Adults and children who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (excluding isolated hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus)

  • Persons who are immunocompromised

  • Women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season

  • Children and adolescents (aged 6 months through 18 years) receiving aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection

  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

  • American Indians/Alaska Natives

  • Persons who are extremely obese (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2 for adults)

The ACIP states that routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older who do not have contraindications. Children aged 6 months through 8 years who require two doses should receive their first dose as soon as possible to allow the second dose (which must be administered ≥ 4 weeks later) to be received by the end of October.

According to the ACIP, both trivalent and quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (IIVs) are or will be available during the 2019-2020 season. Quadrivalent vaccines (IIV4s) contain one virus from each of the two influenza B virus lineages (Yamagata and Victoria), whereas trivalent vaccines contain one influenza B virus from one lineage (for 2019-2020, a Victoria lineage virus). IIV4s provide broader protection against circulating influenza B virus strains. However, no preference is expressed for either quadrivalent or trivalent vaccines.

Read more about influenza vaccination.


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