The timing and severity of flu season varies from year to year, but one thing is known for certain: this contagious respiratory illness can be deadly. Are you protected?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated Dec. 7-13, 2014 as National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) to remind everyone that flu vaccines are the first line of defense against influenza. Flu season typically peaks between the months of December and February, but estimates of flu vaccine activity from recent years show that vaccination numbers start to taper off by the end of November. If you haven’t received your flu vaccine yet, there’s still time. Here are a few quick facts about flu vaccines:
- Everyone six months of age and older should receive a yearly flu vaccine
- Even if flu season has already started, it’s not too late to get vaccinated
- Unvaccinated people who have already had the flu should still be vaccinated, as the vaccine protects against three or four (depending on what type of vaccine you receive) strains of the flu virus
Symptoms of the flu can be mild to severe, but some people are at much greater risk of complications if they are infected. Those at highest risk include:
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease
- People over the age of 65
Annual flu vaccines provide the best protection against the influenza virus. There is still time to get vaccinated, but don’t delay. Even after the vaccination has been administered, it still takes about two weeks for your body to build up antibodies against the virus.
Find a flu clinic near you and get protected today.