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Influenza Vaccination Critical During Pandemic, CDC Says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging all individuals who are without contraindications to receive the influenza vaccine for the 2020 – 2021 influenza season, saying it is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic than in normal years.

"Prevention of and reduction in the severity of influenza illness and reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions through influenza vaccination also could alleviate stress on the US health care system," write the authors of recommendations published August 20 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

"Influenza vaccination of persons aged ≥6 months to reduce prevalence of illness caused by influenza will reduce symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19," they write.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine yearly influenza vaccination for all individuals aged 6 months and older who are without contraindications to the vaccine.

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