Doctors are preparing for the possibility that the flu vaccine could go on sale to the public by the end of the year.
While the new flu shot will be delivered to most US residents, patients who have previously received the vaccine can receive it as early as next month, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The CDC anticipates that there will be at least some people who are receiving the flu shot in the United States who will receive it later this year, and we expect that to be a majority,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a conference call on Wednesday.
The vaccine has been designed to fight the flu virus that has claimed thousands of lives and infected an estimated 7 million people around the world.
It’s being marketed as a long-term shot, which means it could be a bit more effective over time than a single shot, as long as people take it regularly.
Although it may be a little more effective than a flu shot over time, Frieden said, it won’t be 100% effective at stopping the virus.
Dr. Frieden and Dr. Andrew Kolodny, director at the CDC’s Influenza Division, said there is no evidence that the new vaccine has slowed the spread of the virus, or caused a spike in cases.
But it is expected that some people will be more susceptible to flu after taking the vaccine.
One thing to know about the new influenza vaccine: It’s a long shot Dr. Friedens remarks that the vaccine is a longshot.
But it’s not the first time the vaccine has faced criticism from some quarters.
In August, the CDC announced that it was delaying the rollout of the flu vaccination until at least 2020.
And earlier this year the CDC postponed a planned influenza vaccination campaign that was set to begin in October.
Despite the delays, the agency said it’s working on a new vaccine that it hopes will be available in time for the 2018 pandemic.
More: The CDC is launching a new campaign to combat the virus on October 1, but Dr. Tom Frieden has said it will likely be delayed until December.