The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. Flu vaccination coverage estimates from past years have shown that influenza vaccination activity drops quickly after the end of November. Therefore, the CDC and their partners chose December for NIVW to remind people that even though the holiday season has arrived, it is not too late to get your flu vaccine. This year NIVW will take place December 4-10, 2016.
The flu can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.
While the flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu. These people include:
. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
. Adults 65 years of age and older
. Pregnant women
. American Indians and Alaskan Natives seem to be at higher risk of flu complications
. People who have medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes
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 this serious disease. Please note for the 2016-2017 season, the CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) or the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017 due to concerns about vaccine efficacy. This is an interim recommendation that applies to the 2016-2017 season only.
For additional information, please visit www.cdc.gov/flu.