The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual recommendations for flu shots this influenza season, including an expanded age recommendation for two vaccines.
Recommendations for getting flu shots change every year regarding timing of vaccination, considerations for special populations, precautions, and the use of specific vaccines.
Here's what the CDC is saying about this year's flu season.
This year, the flu shot will protect against against the following three viruses.
This season, vaccinations should start to be offered by the end of October. Children ages 6 months through 8 years old who require two doses of the vaccine should receive their first dose as soon as it's available and receive the second no later than the end of October.
Receiving a vaccine too early or in July or August, however, will not protect you throughout the entire influenza season, particularly for older adults.
Babies ages 6 months and older who do not have contraindications should be vaccinated annually. In October 2018, the FDA approved an expanded age indication for the Afluria Quadrivalent vaccine, which was previously licensed for persons aged 5 years or older. Now, the vaccine is licensed for persons 6 months or older.
The dose volume is 0.25 mL per dose for children aged 6 through 35 months and 0.5 mL per dose for all persons between 36 months to 3 years.
In addition, in January 2019, the FDA approved a change in dose volume for the Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine. Previously, the dose volume for children ages 6 through 35 months was 0.25 mL. Now, children ages 6 through 35 months who receive Fluzone Quadrivalent may receive either 0.25 mL, for children between 36 months and 3 years, or 0.5 mL per dose.
For more information regarding flu shots and vaccinations during influenza season, click here.
Manufacturers are predicting to provide between 162 million and 169 million doses of vaccine for the U.S. market, according to the CDC. Projections may change as the season progresses.