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When Is the Best Time to Get a Flu Shot? Here’s What Experts Say-flu season

It’s Not Over: Why Australia’s Early High Flu Season is Warning Sign for What’s to Come This Winter (and How to Protect Yourself))

 

 

Australia’s flu season arrived early this year and is setting records for all-time high cases. This may have an enormous impact on the United States, as well as worldwide.

 

 

As we move into the fall and winter months, there’s a high probability that many countries – especially the U.S. – may mean a serious flu season this year.

 

 

When Is the Best Time to Get a Flu Shot? Here’s What Experts Say-flu season

 

This year, the Southern Hemisphere influenza season arrived early in 2022, with Australia’s confirmed flu cases hitting an all-time high in May, more than double the month’s previous record set in 2019.

 

While a decrease in influenza-like illness has been noted since July 2022, Australia’s influenza cases may be an early warning sign for the U.S. as Southern Hemisphere influenza surveillance has historically been a strong predictor of influenza activity for the Northern Hemisphere flu season.

 

Notably, Australia’s flu season runs from May through September, providing a sense of what is possible for the U.S. season. In addition, Australia has also seen a profound impact on teenagers and younger populations who have had lower vaccination rates. 60% of flu hospitalizations have been children under 16, with adults over 65 only making up 18.5% of hospital admissions, which is not the norm.2

 

By now, many of us know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all eligible individuals six months and older receive an annual influenza vaccine as the best way to prevent seasonal influenza and its potentially serious complications, such as hospitalizations and deaths. 3

 

Despite the many potential benefits, only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine, and in fact, during the 2021/22 season, we saw a significant drop in influenza vaccinations compared to record vaccinations the year before. 4,5

 

When Is the Best Time to Get a Flu Shot? Here’s What Experts Say-flu season

 

As we approach the 2022/23 flu season, getting the word out is more important than ever for several reasons:

 

  • Flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster programs are expected to overlap this fall and it is critical that we do everything we can to ensure that people do not neglect getting vaccinated against influenza.

 

 

Dr. Lisa Doggett, a family practitioner, and Dr. Gregg Sylvester, CSL Seqirus Chief Health Officer, joined me to discuss these trends, more on the upcoming flu season, and the importance of flu vaccination for all eligible individuals, including children six months and older. To learn more, visit: flu.com.

 

 

ABOUT OUR GUESTS

 

Dr. Gregg Sylvester is Chief Health Officer at CSL Seqirus and has led CSL Seqirus Medical Affairs since 2016, overseeing the global team that scientifically differentiates our vaccines by generating Real World Evidence and presenting CSL Seqirus research to national vaccine recommending organizations.

Gregg has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, government and patient care. Prior to joining CSL Seqirus, he led Medical Affairs teams in the worldwide launches of Gardasil, Prevnar 13 and Trumenba. Gregg obtained specialty boards in Pediatrics and General Preventive Medicine. Augmenting his clinical expertise, he served in the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service and as a Public Policy Fellow in the U.S. Congress. During his distinguished career in state government, Gregg was appointed to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services in Delaware, leading the state’s largest agency.

Gregg has an MD from Albany Medical College and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

 

Lisa Doggett, MD, MPH, FAAFP, is an experienced, board-certified family physician and medical officer whose work focuses on improving healthcare for the most vulnerable populations. At HGS AxisPoint Health, Dr. Doggett serves as the Senior Medical Director over the company’s population health programs and is a leading subject matter expert in solution development. She is a long-time proponent of immunizations as a critical public health tool, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and recently conducted a survey of attitudes and practices among family physicians about COVID vaccines. She completed a year-long Vaccine Science Fellowship with the American Academy of Family Physicians earlier this year. 

Dr. Doggett joined AxisPoint Health in 2015 to lead population health programs in Texas including the Texas Medicaid Wellness Program and a collaborative effort with Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services to improve care for people in the State Supported Living Centers. Since then, her work as expanded to include providing clinical oversight of all HGS AxisPoint Health care management programs across the country. Prior to her work at AxisPoint Health, Dr. Doggett practiced family medicine in community clinics in Austin for 13 years, most recently serving as Chief Medical Officer at El Buen Samaritano’s Wallace Mallory Clinic. Dr. Doggett led the effort to create the first Texas chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and currently serves as board president.

Dr. Doggett holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Amherst College, a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, and a Doctor of Medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her medical residency in family practice at the University of Cincinnati Department of Family Medicine.

 

 

 

References 
The Department of Health and Aged Care (2022). Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates. Retrieved from: https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-surveil-ozflu-flucurr.htm. Accessed August 2022
The Department of Health and Aged Care (2022). Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No. 09, 2022. Reporting fortnight: 18 July to 31 July 2022. Retrieved from: https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/FFE657AEE628A4F1CA2588950019A968/$File/flu-09-2022.pdf. Accessed August 2022.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2022). Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm. Accessed August 2022.
4 CDC (2021). What are the benefits of flu vaccination? Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-benefits.htm. Accessed August 2022.
5 CDC (2022). Weekly Flu Vaccination Dashboard. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/dashboard/vaccination-dashboard.html. Accessed August 2022.
6 CDC (2022). Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2021-2022 Season. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2021-2022.htm. Accessed August 2022.

 

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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