Posted on: Sep 10, 2020
Influenza (flu), unlike a common cold, is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that occurs most often in late fall, winter, and early spring in the US. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) urges everyone age 6 months and older to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation to get an annual flu vaccine to #FightFlu and avoid spreading flu to friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older. Many people at higher risk from flu also seem to be at higher risk from COVID-19.
Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
CDC estimates that last season, fewer than half of Americans got a flu vaccine and at least 410,000 people were hospitalized from flu. Increased vaccination coverage would reduce that burden.
You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
If you have questions about which flu vaccine to get, talk to your
doctor or other health care professional.