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Flu season 2019: AMA says time for physicians to promote flu shots


Everyone over the age of six months and especially pregnant women are urged to get flu shots

It’s that time again when a moment of pain can save one from a whole season of diseased discomfort and possible death.

The American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging everyone over the age of six months and especially pregnant women to be vaccinated against the flu, according to a news release.

And for physicians, its time to start talking to patients about the flu, and the need to get vaccinated.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that the vast majority of pregnant women in the United States aren’t vaccinated against flu or whooping cough, it is vitally important that all pregnant women are vaccinated this year.

“Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, loved ones and the public against the spread of flu. It also saves lives-especially vulnerable populations who aren’t eligible for vaccination such as babies younger than six months,” says AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA. “While October is the ideal time to get vaccinated against the flu, we urge every eligible American to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible because we know it’s the most effective way to protect against the flu and its potentially serious complications. The flu vaccine is particularly effective in reducing flu illness, doctor’s visits, missed work and school, and at preventing flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. It’s also a proven way to significantly reduce a child’s risk of influenza-associated death.”

Physicians are urged by the AMA to encourage their pregnant patients to be vaccinated against the flu, and these women can receive the vaccine during any trimester, but they should only receive the Tdap vaccine early in the third trimester.

“The AMA fully supports the overwhelming scientific evidence that shows vaccines are among the most effective and safest interventions to both prevent individual illness and protect the health of the public,” Harris says. “The AMA will continue its work to promote public understanding and confidence in the use of vaccines to prevent resurgence of vaccine-preventable illnesses and deaths.”

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Jeff Andrews, MD