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NFID Blog

Leave No Vaccine Opportunity Behind

There is still much work to be done to increase adult vaccination rates in the United States to reach public health goals. William Schaffner, MD, NFID immediate past-president, wrote the post below for Infectious Disease News on the importance of every patient medical visit representing an opportunity to vaccinate. Despite well-documented evidence regarding effectiveness and safety, overall adult vaccination rates in the…

It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate!

This is the time of year that influenza activity typically starts to pick up in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25 states are now reporting widespread seasonal flu activity, with the most severe activity located in the Southeastern states, and six pediatric flu deaths reported since September.  You can track flu activity in your state…

Top 10 Reasons to Get Vaccinated

As the 2013 National Influenza Vaccination Week wraps up, it’s important to remember these top 10 reasons to get vaccinated against flu. 1. It’s your responsibility to protect your family. The best way to protect your family from influenza, or flu, is by getting everyone in your household vaccinated. Even the healthiest child who’s never had seasonal influenza is at risk and needs…

Seniors among Groups Hardest Hit by Flu

For most people, getting the flu means feeling achy and feverish for a week or so, but for people 65 years and older, the flu can be much more serious. People in this age group are at high risk for severe flu illness and complications. In fact, an estimated 60 percent of flu-related hospitalizations in the US occur in this…

The Case for Improving Adolescent Health

A new report issued by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and Pfizer Inc. brings attention to the fact that adolescents are often overlooked in the US healthcare system, which may lead to short- and long-term health consequences and contribute to the economic burden on the healthcare system. The report, titled The Case for Improving Adolescent Health: Helping prepare adolescents for a healthy…

Pregnant Women and Infants – Targets for the Flu

Pregnancy is a time for big changes—a whirlwind of emotion, anticipation, and uncertainty. But one thing that is certain during this time is the importance of getting a vaccine to help protect both the pregnant woman and her baby against influenza (flu). Flu is a contagious illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Pregnant women with the flu have a…

Misperceptions Hinder Flu Prevention and Treatment Efforts

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) recently conducted a national Flu Behaviors and Treatment survey to understand public attitudes, experiences, and knowledge about flu prevention and treatment. The survey found that while most US adults understand that flu is serious (93%) and highly contagious (87%) and know the importance of annual flu vaccination (66%), only one-fourth (27%) would call a doctor for advice…

National Influenza Vaccination Week: Don’t Stop Now!

Don’t Stop Now! As we come together to recognize National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) on December 8-14, 2013, it is heartening to know that last flu season, more children were vaccinated against influenza than ever before. This represents tremendous progress in childhood influenza immunization since the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) was created in 2007, and we don’t want to stop…

Take Steps to Prevent Flu

Today marks the beginning of National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of annual influenza vaccination. Influenza, more commonly referred to as the flu, is a serious and contagious respiratory illness that affects 5-20% of the US population and hospitalizes over 200,000 people every year. The flu season typically runs from October–March, peaking in January…

This Holiday Season, Spread Joy, not Whooping Cough

Special thanks to Thomas A. Clark, MD, MPH acting branch chief in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch for this guest blog post on the importance of vaccination in preventing pertussis (whooping cough). The holidays usually mean time surrounded by family and friends. As you prepare to enjoy the upcoming season with your loved…

Antibiotic Stewardship–The Ultimate Return on Investment

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated November 18-24, 2013 as “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.” Did you know? 1. Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health threats. 2. Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to combat life‐threatening bacterial diseases, but antibiotics can have side effects. 3. Antibiotic overuse increases…

A Son’s Life Cut Short By Influenza

My son, Jacob Ryan Schmidt of Baytown, TX, was a semi-pro competitive martial arts expert, strong as a bull, and enjoying life as a family man. In April of 2010, at the age of 27, he succumbed to complications from H1N1 influenza. He had not been vaccinated against the illness. Jacob was not someone you’d expect to fall ill to…