What is National Influenza Vaccination Week?
Published: Dec. 1, 2023
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What is National Influenza Vaccination Week?

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is an annual initiative that takes place from December 4-8, 2023. The goal of NIVW is to raise awareness about the importance of flu vaccination and to encourage everyone to get vaccinated against the flu.

What is the flu?

The flu, also known as influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu season usually begins in October and lasts until May. Getting vaccinated against the flu is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick.

Who should get vaccinated against the flu?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu every year. This includes pregnant women, children, and adults.

Who is at Risk for Flu Complications?

Some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, including:

· Small children, younger than 5 years old

· Adults 65 years of age and older

· Pregnant women and their developing babies

· People with chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, or diabetes

· People with weakened immune systems

When should you get vaccinated against the flu?

The best time to get vaccinated against the flu is in the fall, before flu season begins. However, it is not too late to get vaccinated later in the winter or any time during the season.

Where can you get vaccinated against the flu?

Flu vaccines are available at many places, including your doctor’s office, local pharmacy, and health department.

What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?

The most common side effects of the flu vaccine are mild and include soreness at the injection site, headache, and muscle aches. These side effects usually go away within a few days and are never as severe as the real flu.

How can I protect myself and my family from the flu?

In addition to getting vaccinated against the flu, there are other things you can do to protect yourself and your family from getting sick, including:

· Washing your hands often with soap and water

· Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze

· Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

· Staying home from work or school when you are sick

For more information about the flu and flu vaccination, please visit the following websites:

· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

· American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

· National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This blog was written by Pediatric Associates’ Skylake Offices’ Fabiana Izquierdo Jaen, MD, FAAP