December 6-12th is National Influenza Vaccination Week
December 7, 2015
This season, National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place from December 6-12th, 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established NIVW in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. All around the country, NIVW events including press briefings and media interviews, health fairs, traditional and digital flu vaccine promotions, and educational opportunities will emphasize the importance of flu vaccination.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu!
As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can still provide protection against the flu. Flu activity typically peaks between December and February in the United States, and the season can last as late as May. While there’s still time to benefit from a flu vaccine, the sooner you get vaccinated, the more likely you are to be protected against the flu when activity picks up in your community. View the map with a weekly update on flu activity within the U.S.
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. A flu vaccine offers the best protection against this serious disease. Once vaccinated, it takes about 2 weeks for the body’s immune response to fully kick in.
Are You at High Risk?
There are certain people who are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Pneumonia and bronchitis are two examples of flu-related complications. Those at high risk include:
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- People 65 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease)
If you are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications, you should get vaccinated. Those who live with or care for you should also be vaccinated to help protect you.
A full list of people at high risk of serious complications from flu because of age or other medical conditions is available at the CDC Flu website.
In addition, there are other people for whom vaccination is especially important:
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
- Health care workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)