Leah Durant | Vaccine Attorney - Vaccine Blog

Thursday, August 10, 2023

CDC Issues 2023-2024 Flu Season Forecast and Recommendations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its preliminary forecast for the 2023-2024 flu season. While the CDC has yet to release its first estimates for the geographic spread of the virus during the upcoming flu season, it has adjusted its annual flu shot recommendations based on the strains of the influenza virus that are expected to be most prevalent over the next year.

Based on its forecast and recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the CDC has changed the composition of the flu vaccine for the 2023-2024 season. As the CDC explains, “[t]he 2023-2024 season U.S. flu vaccines will contain an updated influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 component.” For the upcoming season, the flu vaccine will be designed to protect against the following strains:

  • A/Victoria/4897/2022 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus for egg-based vaccines

  • A/Wisconsin/67/2022 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus for cell-based or recombinant vaccines

These are in addition to the strains covered by the 2022-2023 flu vaccine. The carried-over strains are the same for both egg-based and cell-based or recombinant vaccines:

  • A/Darwin/6/2021 (H3N2)-like virus;

  • B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus

  • B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus

The CDC’s Flu Shot Recommendations for the 2023-2024 Flu Season

Notably, even with the addition of the A/Victoria/4897/2022 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus strain for egg-based vaccines, the CDC is advising that individuals who have egg allergies “may receive any flu vaccine (egg-based or non-egg based) that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health status.” This is a change from previous years when the CDC issued additional safety recommendations for flu shot recipients with egg allergies. For the 2023-2024 flu season, the CDC states: “Additional safety measures are no longer recommended for flu vaccination beyond those recommended for receipt of any vaccine.”

The CDC recommends that certain groups of people get the flu shot as early as July, though it notes that September and October are “the best times for most people to get vaccinated.” Based on the CDC’s preliminary forecast, its recommendations for the 2023-2024 flu season include:

  • Adults Age 65 and Older – Adults age 65 and older should wait to get vaccinated until September or October unless it isn’t possible to do so.

  • Pregnant People in Their First or Second Trimester – Pregnant people who are in their first or second trimester should also wait to get vaccinated until September or October unless it isn’t possible to do so.

  • Pregnant People in Their Third Trimester – Pregnant people who are in their third trimester can get vaccinated in July or August to ensure that their newborns have adequate protection against the influenza virus after birth.

  • Children Who Need Two Doses of the Flu Vaccine – Children who need two doses of the flu vaccine should get their first dose as soon as possible. They should receive their second dose at least four weeks after the first.

  • Children Who Have Healthcare Visits in July and August – Children who have healthcare visits in July and August may receive flu shots during these visits if they do not have another reason to return to their healthcare provider in September or October.

Waiting until September or October to get vaccinated against influenza is recommended in most cases because flu season tends to peak around December and can last as late as May or June. As a result, getting vaccinated later in the year helps ensure that individuals’ flu shots will offer maximum protection during the peak of flu season and continue providing protection well into the New Year.

Flu Shot Safety and Flu Vaccine Injuries

The CDC states, “[t]he best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting a yearly flu vaccine,” and it advises that the annual flu shot is generally safe for most people. While the statistics support this, they also show that a small percentage of flu vaccine recipients experience serious vaccine-related injuries and illnesses.

One of the most common types of flu-shot-related injuries is shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). These are injuries that result not from adverse reactions to the flu vaccine itself but rather from errors during vaccine administration. This includes common errors such as inserting the needle too high on the shoulder, inserting the needle too low on the arm and using the wrong size needle for the patient’s age and body composition.

As a result, flu shot safety is critical. All healthcare providers should follow best practices for vaccine administration when giving flu shots to children and adults. Even minor mistakes can lead to serious and long-term complications in some cases. While SIRVA is entirely preventable, they are also the most common injuries listed on petitions filed under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

Along with SIRVA, flu shots present risks for various other injuries and illnesses as well. While the likelihood of experiencing any of these injuries or illnesses is low, they can have serious consequences for those who are unfortunate enough to experience them. Other injuries and illnesses that have been linked to the annual flu shot include:

  • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)

  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)

  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)

  • Parsonage-Turner Syndrome (brachial neuritis)

Filing a VICP Claim for a Flu Shot Injury

Vaccine recipients and parents of children who experience flu shot injuries during the 2023-2024 flu season (or who have experienced flu shot injuries previously) should consult with a vaccine lawyer about filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The VICP covers all of the types of injuries and illnesses listed above, and it pays compensation for successful claimants’ medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. The VICP also covers claimants’ legal fees separately from their compensation awards, so it costs nothing to hire a vaccine lawyer to represent you.

Request a Free, No-Obligation Consultation with Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant

Vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant represents flu shot recipients and families nationwide in claims under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. If you have questions about filing a claim related to a flu shot injury or illness, you can call 202-800-1711 or contact us online to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.

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