Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Facts
National Influenza Vaccination Week
National Influenza Week is the first full week in December. This week is a national observance and was established by the Centers for Disease Control to highlight the importance of continuing the influenza vaccine. As long as flu viruses continue to spread and cause illnesses, flu vaccinations can be your best defense in providing protection against the flu.
Why Do I Need the Influenza Vaccine?
Seasonal Influenza is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization. You can be exposed to someone at work, in the community (grocery store, school, gym, etc) and you can actually pass on the flu virus to someone else before you even know you’re sick. Anyone can get sick from the flu, even “healthy” people. Flu vaccinations not only reduce flu illnesses, but also reduce missed work due to flu and prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Every year influenza, or “flu,” affects employers and businesses. Flu costs the U.S. approximately $10.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults.
Did you Know?
- Flu season begins as early as October.
- Flu season peaks in the months of December through February.
- Flu season can last as late as May.
- CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza disease.
- Vaccination is especially important for protecting those at high risk for serious flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, adults
- 65 years and older, and anyone with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. The CDC provides a full A full list of “People at High Risk of Developing Flu–Related Complications.”
- Flu viruses are always changing which means the vaccine is updated every year to best match circulating influenza viruses. Because of this, yearly vaccinations are necessary.
- It takes about two weeks after a vaccination for the immune system to build the antibodies your body needs in order to provide protection against the flu.
- It is never too late in the season to get a flu vaccine to protect yourself and loved ones.
Studies show that flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations and deaths.
- Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick (Belshe, 1998).
- A recent study showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012 (Ferdinands, 2014).
- One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season (Talbot, 2013).
- Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease (Ciszewski, 2008; Phrommintikul, 2011), especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year (Udell, 2013). Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%; Colquhoun, 1997) and chronic lung disease (52%; Nichol, 1999).
- Vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu (Benowitz, 2010).
- Other studies have shown that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations in older adults. A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness over the course of three flu seasons estimated that flu vaccination lowered the risk of hospitalizations by 61% in people 50 years of age and older (Talbot, 2011).
Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot?
Patients at eMedical Urgent Care are seen on a walk-in basis without appointment; after school, or on weekends, we‘re here. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.