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Influenza and Adolescents

group of diverse teensEveryone age 6 months or older–including adolescents–should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every year.

Flu is a contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs, that can cause severe illness. It is a serious infection that affects between 5-20 percent of the US population annually. During the 2017-2018 season, an estimated 900,000 individuals were hospitalized and nearly 80,000 deaths occurred in the US from flu and flu-related complications. The highest rate of flu infection in the US is in school-aged children.

Flu is spread easily from person to person. When someone who has the flu sneezes, coughs, or even talks, the virus passes into the air and may be breathed in by anyone close by. Flu can cause serious complications in healthy people of all ages and particularly among people with certain chronic health conditions. Flu vaccine is needed every year for the best protection.

Although young people who have healthy immune systems may be able to fight off flu infection, they can still pass the virus on to other people who may be more vulnerable.


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