Tips for Flu Season
December 13, 2017
CDC established National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.
NIVW 2017 is scheduled for December 3-9, 2017
Flu vaccination coverage estimates from past seasons have shown that few people get vaccinated against influenza after the end of November.
Last season only about 40% of the US population recommended to get a flu vaccine reported having been vaccinated by the end of November.
CDC and its partners choose December for NIVW to remind people that even though the holiday season has begun, it is not too late to get a flu vaccine.
As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible against the flu.
Even if you haven’t yet been vaccinated and have already gotten sick with flu, you can still benefit from vaccination since the flu vaccine protects against three or four different flu viruses (depending on which flu vaccine you get).
Flu Vaccination for People at High Risk
Another goal of NIVW is to communicate the importance of flu vaccination for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications.
People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people aged 65 years and older.
For people at high risk, getting the flu can be more serious than for other people. Flu is more likely to lead to hospitalization or death for people at high risk.
Flu vaccine uptake estimates among adults 50 years and older fell by 3 percentage points last year. That means many more adults were left vulnerable to flu and its complications.
Anyone who gets flu can pass it to someone at high risk of severe illness, including infants younger than 6 months who are too young to get the vaccine.
Information provided by the CDC.