December 14, 2013

National Influenza Vaccination Week December 2014

NIVW_web-button_300x250_generalAs 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 to be vaccinated. It’s that simple.

2. Influenza is more serious than you think. Influenza claims the lives of ~100 children in the US every year and hospitalizes approximately 20,000 children annually. About half of children who die from influenza were previously healthy. And influenza is the 8th-leading cause of death in the US among people of all ages.

3.Influenza can worsen chronic medical conditions–don’t put your family’s health at risk. Influenza vaccination is especially important for people with compromised immune systems or certain underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Influenza can worsen these conditions or cause serious complications in people who have them.

4. Vaccinating family members helps protect vulnerable infants. Children younger than 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated against influenza, but they are at the greatest risk of hospitalization for it. To create a protective “cocoon” of immunity around unvaccinated infants, parents should get older siblings, themselves, and all other close contacts of the baby vaccinated.

5. Keep your kids at school and yourself at work, where you belong. Children have plenty to worry about without having to catch up on missed school work, a big game, the prom, or graduation. And when kids miss school, parents often lose work days to care for them.

6. Your child doesn’t live in a bubble. Children share close quarters inside schools and childcare facilities. And let’s face it – their hygiene habits are often less than stellar! Your child is constantly touching, playing, and sharing with others. It’s no wonder more children get influenza every year than people of any other age group. So when you can’t be there to protect your child, the vaccine is.

7. Why keep taking the annual seasonal influenza gamble? This could be the year your luck runs out. To prevent influenza, place your bet on vaccinating your child.

8. Getting vaccinated is easy. In addition to your primary healthcare professional, many local hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, retail stores, and even some employers hold vaccination clinics. Use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a flu vaccine location near you.

9. The influenza vaccine is safe and effective. Seasonal influenza vaccine is safe and time tested. Of course, as with all medications, vaccines can be associated with some mild, short-term side effects. Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza. The influenza vaccine can reduce chances of getting the flu by 70-90% and, if someone gets vaccinated but still gets the flu, chances are they will get a less severe case.

10. Everyone deserves the opportunity to have a healthy life and future. Given that influenza vaccination is such a simple and safe way to help prevent the flu, why not take advantage of it?

To join the conversation, follow us on Twitter (@nfidvaccines) and use the hashtags #fightflu and #NIVW2013, like us on Facebook, and join the NFID Linkedin Group.