Monday was the start of National Influenza Vaccination Week, and an opportunity to help raise awareness of the seriousness of influenza. This observance is also timely as we continue to encourage the public to get influenza vaccinations throughout December, January, and beyond. Although Flu season doesn’t peak until January or February, the number of people getting vaccinated tends to decrease substantially after November.
Each year about 5-20% of people in the US are infected with influenza. More than 200,000 are hospitalized from complications and an estimated 36,000 die. Flu vaccination is still the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications.
The CDC recommends the following groups get vaccinated against the flu:
- Children 6 months up to 19th birthday
- Pregnant woman
- People 50 years and up
- People with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease
- Adults who live with and/or care for children less than 5 yrs of age (especially less than 6 months of age because they are at high risk for flu-related complications but are too young to get the vaccine), adults 50 yrs of age or older, and children or adults with chronic health conditions
- Healthcare workers
- Anyone who wants to decrease the risk of infection
The best gift of this holiday season is to make sure you and your loved ones are protected against the flu.
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