CDC approves vaccine to help over-50s protect against flu virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received approval Monday to market a new vaccine booster for US adults against cancer-causing strains of the influenza virus that typically strike in winter.

The vaccine is the first new Type A influenza vaccine for people over the age of 50 in 20 years, according to a release from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC scientists recommended last year that people over 50 take a vaccine booster after receiving the agency’s annual influenza vaccine.

The newly approved flu vaccine is called COVID-19, and it would protect against four influenza strains of the virus that most people usually catch: B, B+H3, A/California H3N2, and A/Wisconsin/B strain.

“The CDC makes decisions based on the scientific advice of its scientific advisors and the findings of its advisory committees,” Doug Scharre, director of CDC’s influenza Division, said in a statement. “Monday’s announcement is based on the clinical evaluation of COVID-19 by a nationwide community-based evaluation committee of CDC’s scientific advisors.”

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is a good match for the strains in the 2018/2019 US flu vaccine. If individuals still want to take a flu shot, they can find the recommended strains of influenza virus that are in the vaccine online at

While the CDC’s new vaccine booster is the first for adults over 50, several others are sold in the US. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) requires all kids to be vaccinated before they enter first grade, according to the CDC. These policies are in place because the group’s vaccine recommendations prioritize children who are sick, making the vaccine more effective, according to the CDC.

Other flu vaccine recommendations vary state-by-state and may include vaccines that protect against more than two strains of influenza.

In other news, the CDC is also urging individuals with respiratory illnesses to stay home from work and school to avoid spreading the flu to others.

The following information was released by the CDC on the influenza season this year:

The flu season is currently underway with influenza season running through the end of March 2019.

The current vaccine is an “adequate match” for this year’s flu virus, according to the CDC.

There have been 392 influenza-associated deaths since September 2017, with 13 for children younger than 5 years.

Unvaccinated people may have “undervaccinated,” according to the CDC.

People with influenza symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle aches, and/or runny nose may suffer severe complications. These symptoms are common in people with underlying health conditions, the CDC reports.

People who are not vaccinated against influenza should continue to stay home from work and school to avoid spreading influenza to others.

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