National Influenza Vaccination Week

National Influenza Vaccination Week

If you’re seeing signs reading “Get Your Flu Vaccine,” you might ask “Isn’t it too late to get vaccinated?” No, it’s not too late! CDC recommends that flu vaccination efforts continue throughout flu season.

Vaccination throughout December is beneficial during most flu seasons, including this one. If you’re not convinced, listen to this:

  • You might not think of the flu as a serious sickness. It’s usually associated with:
  • a fever,
  • cough,
  • sore throat,
  • runny or stuffy nose,
  • muscle aches,
  • fatigue,
  • and miserable days spent in bed.

However, hundreds of thousands of people actually have to be hospitalized. Thousands to tens of thousands of people die from the flu each year.

That’s why the vaccine is so important. A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients. CDC estimates that during the 2016-2017 flu season, the flu vaccine prevented approximately 5.3 million flu illnesses, 2.6 million flu-related medical visits, and 85,000 flu-associated hospitalizations.

Even with all these numbers, fewer than half of the people in the United States reported getting a flu vaccine during that season. This is leaving millions of people unprotected.

If just 5% more of the population had gotten vaccinated during the 2016-2017 flu season, an additional 504,000 illnesses, 233,000 doctor’s visits, and 6,000 hospitalizations would have been prevented.

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses.

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including your urgent care provider.

For more information about the seriousness of flu and the benefits of flu vaccination, talk to your doctor or care professional, or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO.