National Influenza Vaccination Week: December 5-12

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

National Influenza Vaccination Week is a critical opportunity to remind everyone 6 months and older that there’s still time to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu this flu season by getting their annual flu vaccine if they have not already. Currently, flu activity is elevated across the country, so this week will serve to remind people that there is still time to benefit from the first and most important action in preventing flu illness and potentially serious flu complications: get a flu vaccine today.

It is not too late to receive the yearly flu vaccination. The season for flu is quite unpredictable; it can begin as early as fall and last up to spring. Flu activity is at its peak during winter. Therefore, public healthcare professionals, advocates, and communities unite to promote flu vaccination.

National Influenza Vaccination Week is observed to remind people to stay protected in the upcoming winter months. However, only about half of Americans get the annual vaccination. Many who choose not to, think that the flu is just a bad cold. But it’s more than that. The flu can cause serious health complications, such as bacterial infections or pneumonia, that may lead to hospitalization. If not treated at the right time, the flu can even lead to death.

While most of flu activity peaks between December and February, significant activity can last as late as May. It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against this virus infection. Therefore, it is best to get vaccinated before influenza viruses start to spread in the community. The flu shot offers protection against the flu for at least six months.