HHS issues another flu shot recommendation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently repeated its recommendation that those who have not had a flu shot should get one quickly.

In addition to HHS, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued similar recommendations. The FDA said that anyone over the age of six months should be vaccinated and that seasonal vaccines have a good safety record, according to Philly.com.

Currently, six influenza vaccine manufacturers are projecting that there will be approximately 135 million doses of the vaccine available for use in the United States during the 2012-2013 flu season. Approximately 62 million doses of the vaccine will be thimerosal-free. Thimerosal is a commonly used vaccine preservative, according to the CDC.

The FDA said that it generally takes two weeks after the vaccine is administered before it becomes effective. During that time, there is a risk of acquiring the illness. Therefore, the FDA recommends getting the vaccine as soon as possible, Philly.com reports.

The CDC continues to report increasing flu activity in states that have already shown high activity this season, particularly those located in the southeast. Flu season had its earliest start in nearly a decade in the United States and experts fear that it could be severe.