National Influenza Vaccination Week
Tis the season to get your flu vaccine! This year National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place from December 6-12th, 2015. NIVW was established back in 2005 by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (@CDCgov) to stress the importance of this vaccine throughout the holidays and beyond. During this week events take place all around the country to promote vaccination, spread awareness, and educate communities about its importance.
Best form of protection
Experts say the single best way to help avoid the flu is to get vaccinated. Flu season starts in October and can last into May. It takes about two weeks after the vaccine is received for the antibodies to develop which protect against the virus. Therefore, the earlier you get the vaccine the better, though one can still benefit from the vaccine even if it is received in the height of the season. The vaccine administered either as a shot or nasal spray.
As many as 1 in 5 Americans come down with the flu each year, and kids are 2 to 3 times more likely than adults to get sick with the flu. The flu is extremely contagious. The flu can spread through a cough or a sneeze to others who are 6 feet away. While most cases of flu are mild, some are serious and can even lead to hospitalization. It is harder for the virus to spread when more people get vaccinated.
Where to get the vax
These days flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, pharmacies, urgent care clinics, health departments, and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools.
Who should get the vax
On February 24, 2010 the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. In addition, those who are at high risk of developing complications from flu should definitely be vaccinated. Those at high risk include children under 5, pregnant women, seniors 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions.
For more information about the flu vaccine and the types that are available visit the CDC website.