It’s Not Too Late to Fight the Flu!
While seasonal flu activity varies, flu activity usually peaks between December and February, though activity can last as late as May. As long as flu activity is ongoing, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease.
Everyone 6 months and older needs a flu vaccine. Protect yourself and your family over the holidays!
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Each flu season, different flu viruses can spread. These viruses can affect people differently based on differences in the immune system. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu. This winter, you can protect yourself by:
- Getting your annual vaccine.
- Practicing healthy behaviors like washing your hands and covering your coughs and sneezes.
- Visiting a doctor as soon as flu symptoms are detected to ask about prescription antibiotics.
Who Should Get Vaccinated This Season
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. It’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated. Those people include the following:
- People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This includes:
- People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
- Those who are morbidly obese (BMI of 40 or greater).
- Pregnant women.
- People 65 years and older
- People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications. This includes:
- Household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
A detailed list is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza. A complete list of health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of developing serious complications from flu is available at People Who Are at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications.
The National Council for Aging Care’s Guide to the Seasonal Flu for Seniors also provides important information regarding the flu, including tips for determining whether you have a cold or the flu.
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations. As the CDC notes, even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else. Many health departments, pharmacies, urgent care clinics and even employers offer vaccines.
Use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a vaccine in your area.
Find Out More
There are a number of resources available to provide you with additional information and address your flu-related questions.
- Visit the National Council for Aging Care’s Guide to Seasonal Flu for Senior site.
- Take preventative steps to protect yourself against the flu.
- Find out the difference between a cold versus the flu.
- Learn about commonly held misconceptions about seasonal flu and flu vaccines.
- Visit the Flu and You website for more information.
- Learn Good Health Habits for Preventing Seasonal Flu