December 07, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Patient Education Public Health Vaccination
With flu activity increasing and people planning gatherings for the holidays, National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 4-10) is the perfect time to talk to your patients about getting their flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year. This season, however, CDC recommends only the flu shot (not the nasal spray vaccine).
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 for patients to get vaccinated, even in January or later. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease. Even if your patients have already gotten sick with flu this season, it is still a good idea to get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines protects against three or four different flu viruses (depending on which flu vaccine you get).
If your practice doesn’t offer a flu shot, patients can find a place nearby to get a flu vaccine with the HealthMap Vaccine Finder at http://vaccine.healthmap.org.