Three Flu Season Imperatives: Vaccinate the Young, the Old, and Everyone in Between

Influenza season in the southern hemisphere is "substantial," says Dr William Schaffner. To prepare: "Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate!"

Flu season in the southern hemisphere came early this year, and continues to be a substantial one, said William Schaffner, MD, in a recent interview with Patient Care©. Interestingly, he added, children this year seem to be disproportionaltely affected.

Schaffner, a well-known infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, made the observation while offering his guidance to US primary care clinicians on the respiratory virus season now on the horizon.

Everyone older than age 6 months should recieve vaccination against influenza, he re-emphasizes, and this year the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices preferrentially recommends a high-dose or adjuvanted flu shot for adults aged ≥65 years.

The full conversation follows here.


William Schaffner, MD, is medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, professor of preventive medicine in the Department of Health Policy and professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN.

Twitter: @NFIDvaccines