Rochelle Walensky, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the updated flu shots would be "a very good match" for the most prevalent strains of the 2022-2023 influenza season.
"We look in real time as to how well we think the influenza match is to what's circulating, and right now, the good news is that it looks like it is a very good match," Walensky said Monday, according to The Hill.
Published Friday, the CDC cited in its "Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report" the vaccines were "well recognized" by the immune systems of its animal test subjects.
Walensky's call for more influenza vaccinations comes amid reports the United States is already facing high levels of the virus.
"The rise in cases and hospitalizations is especially worrisome as we move into the winter months, when more people are assembling indoors, with less ventilation, and as we approach the holiday season, where many are gathering with loved ones across multiple generations," the CDC head stated.
"I want to emphasize," she added, "that the flu vaccine can be life-saving and importantly there is still time to get vaccinated to be protected against flu this season."
According to data provided by the CDC, this year's flu season began in October — that is roughly six weeks before the average for the season of "influenza-like illness" peaks and continues its sustained 16-week hold. Since then, there have been approximately 8.7 million known infections, 78,000 hospitalizations, and 4,500 related deaths for flu-like illnesses.
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