National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 4-8, 2023)
Published: Dec. 2, 2023
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National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 4-8, 2023)

There are many reasons why it is important to get the influenza vaccine. The influenza vaccine can prevent illness from the flu, reduce severity of illness if you contract the flu, and protect those at highest risk of flu complications. Some of the groups of people at highest risk of complications from the flu include pregnant women, young children and infants, people with chronic diseases, and people older than 65 years of age. By getting your flu vaccine, you are not only protecting yourself but others as well.

All people aged 6 months and older, with rare exception, are recommended to get the annual influenza vaccination. However, before babies turn 6 months, they rely on those people surrounding them to get their flu vaccination in order to provide herd immunity. The very first time babies get their influenza vaccine, they will also need to get a second influenza vaccine one month later. Flu season spans from Fall until Spring or October until May. It’s a good idea to get the flu vaccine in the Fall at the beginning of flu season before the flu rates increase in the winter months.

The Quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against 4 strains of influenza and comes as both an injection and a nasal spray. The nasal spray is a live vaccine and is available for children 2 years and older as opposed to the injection which is an attenuated vaccine and available for people aged 6 months and up. In summary, it is not too late to get your flu vaccine, so call and schedule an appointment today. Protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday season by getting your annual flu vaccine.

This blog was written by Pediatric Associates Boca Raton West’s Rebecca Lowen, PA-C, MMS, MPH