December 3-9 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet, now’s the time! An annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect against flu.
This year, National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place December 3-9, 2017. NIVW highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.
Vaccination is the Best Way to Prevent Flu!
As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can still provide protection against flu. Most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and February in the United States, although activity can last as late as May. Flu activity is expected to increase in the coming weeks; the sooner you get vaccinated, the more likely you are to be protected against flu when activity picks up in your community. View CDC’s influenza summary map for a weekly update on flu activity in the United States.
Who Needs a Flu Vaccine?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses. This season, CDC recommends the use of injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) only. Again this season, nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended. Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu.
Are You at High Risk?
One of the goals of NIVW is to communicate the importance of flu vaccination for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications from flu, while pneumonia is a serious flu complication that can result from either influenza virus infection alone or from co-infection with the flu virus and bacteria. Other possible serious complications triggered by flu can include inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or muscle tissues (myositis, rhabdomyolysis), and multi-organ failure.
Take Everyday Preventive Actions
In addition to getting your flu vaccine this season, CDC also urges you to take everyday preventive actions to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu. Everyday preventive actions include the following:
Be a Flu Fighter!
Each year, people around the world work to study, track, and prevent flu. This year, CDC is recognizing these Flu Fighters and the work they are doing to prevent flu in the U.S. and around the world. Check out some of CDC’s own Flu Fighters, here. Do your part and be a flu fighter this year by getting a flu shot today!
content from the CDC
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