U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Announces National Influenza Vaccination Week December 4-10
It’s not too late: Get your flu vaccine today!
This winter, when you see signs reading “Get Your Flu Vaccine,” you might ask “Isn’t it too late to get vaccinated?” No, it’s not too late! The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that flu vaccinations continue throughout the flu season, which begins in autumn and continues into spring. That’s why the CDC designates this as National Influenza Vaccination Week.
“The sooner you get vaccinated the more likely you are to be protected against the virus when flu activity picks up in our community,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell at MainStreet Clinic.
According to the CDC, flu season peaks most often between December and March, but activity can occur as late as May. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for defensive antibodies to develop, so it’s best to get vaccinated early.
For millions of people every season, the flu means a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. Millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu each year.
Some people are at a higher risk for serious flu-related complications that can lead to hospitalization and even death, such as
- pregnant women,
- children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old,
- those 65 and older, and
- those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
The 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. This season, CDC recommends the use of injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) and not the nasal spray flu vaccine. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) is not recommended for use this season because of concerns about effectiveness.
Flu vaccines are offered by many providers, such as your family doctor, some pharmacies, community health centers, as well as employers and schools.
MainStreet Clinic Members will receive their flu shot as a free benefit of membership. And employers who subscribe to Care First Benefits through MainStreet Clinic may request to have employee flu shots given at their workplace.
For more information about the flu and the benefits of flu vaccination, ask your health care provider or contact the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw or 1-800-CDC-INFO.
Contact Brian Birdwell, MD and MainStreet Clinic at www.mainstreetdpc.com or 580 248-9966.