FDA: There's still time for flu shots

FDA: There's still time for flu shots
FDA: There's still time for flu shots

HealthDay News -- It's still not too late to get a flu shot, the FDA said Wednesday. Children and seniors tend to be most susceptible to influenza, but sometimes the virus will affect more young and middle-aged adults. That appears to be the case this influenza season, the agency said in a press release.

An unusually high number of severe respiratory illness in young and middle-aged Americans was reported to the CDC in November and December, the FDA said. Many of those cases were caused by the H1N1 strain that affected more children and young adults than older adults during the 2009 pandemic.

Protection against the 2009 H1N1 virus, which has circulated each year since the pandemic, is included in the 2013-2014 influenza vaccine. Influenza activity often peaks in January or February and can last well into May, and a influenza shot protects patients as long as the viruses are circulating.

"Influenza seasons and severity are often unpredictable. Annual influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza among people 6 months of age and older," Marion Gruber, director of the FDA's Office of Vaccine Research and Review, said.

Federal health officials have previously reported that this year's vaccine is a good match for the circulating viruses.

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