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Can the Influenza Vaccine Be the Key to Reducing Antibiotic Resistance?


Lauri A. Hicks, DO, Director, Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discusses keys to reducing antibiotic resistance.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“I think there are certainly alternatives to antibiotics, and there’s a lot of interest in developing research to look at those alternatives. I think there are alternatives that actually exist right now that are in front of us, and that some of us don’t take advantage of.
A good example is getting the flu vaccine. A good proportion of the population doesn’t get the flu vaccine each year, but it is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting the flu. Even though the flu is a virus and is not caused by a bacteria and antibiotics don’t treat viruses, a lot of people with [the] flu end up getting an antibiotic.
I think some of the basic steps related to protecting the natural resource of antibiotics includes just taking some personal actions to protect ourselves from getting infections.”
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Influenza A (H3N2) has caused most of the illnesses in this severe flu season, but influenza B is becoming increasingly responsible for more infections as the flu season continues to hit the United States.