NATIONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION WEEK
National Influenza Vaccination Week highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccinations through the holiday season and beyond. It’s not just the holiday season; it’s flu season. Flu activity usually increases in October but peaks between December and February. Flu activity sometimes occurs as late as May. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, the first week in December is a great time to do it.
During a recent flu season, there were 49 million flu illnesses. This is more than the combined populations of Texas and Florida. Of those who got the flu, 960,000 people were hospitalized as a result. Another 79,000 people died from the flu or flu-related complications.
The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 6 months get the flu vaccination. Getting vaccinated is especially important for those who are at a high risk of experiencing flu-related complications. These groups of people include:
- Adults over the age of 65
- Pregnant women
- Young children
- Children with neurologic conditions
- Those with asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancer
- Those with heart disease
If these people get the flu, they are at a high risk of getting other illnesses. These include pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus infections. The flu makes chronic health problems, such as asthma and heart disease, even worse.
The flu vaccination comes in either a shot or a nasal spray. The flu vaccination also comes in different forms. For example, there is one that is made just for adults over the age of 65. Anyone who gets the flu vaccination is at a lower risk of getting influenza. They are also less likely to miss school or work. Since flu viruses are constantly changing, it’s important to get a flu vaccination every year.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalInfluenzaVaccinationWeek
If you haven’t already, the best way to observe this day is to get your flu vaccination. If you are a parent, make sure your children have had their vaccinations. If you take care of your elderly parents or other loved ones, take them to the clinic or pharmacy to get their flu shot.
- Know the symptoms of the flu, which include fever, aching muscles, chills, sweats, fatigue, and headache.
- Learn how to prevent germs from spreading, such as proper handwashing techniques.
- Learn more about misconceptions of the flu shot, such as the flu shot gives people the flu, those with egg allergies can’t get the flu shot, and the vaccine causes severe side effects.
- Watch Influenza 1918, a documentary about the worst epidemic in American history, when the flu killed over 600,000 Americans in 1918.
Don’t spread the flu! Instead, spread awareness by using #NationalInfluenzaVaccinationWeek.
NATIONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION WEEK HISTORY
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established National Influenza Vaccination Week in 2005.