As long as flu viruses are spreading, it’s not too late to get a vaccine to protect yourself, according to theCenters for Disease Control (CDC). That is whyNational Influenza Vaccination Week is held from December 7 to December 14.
“Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but significant activity can occur as late as May,” says Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service. “We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now.”
You may not realize that more than 200,000 people are hospitalized in the United States from flu complications each year, and some do not survive. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of yearly flu associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people during the most severe season.
However, there is a vaccine that can prevent flu, and while how well the vaccine works can vary, the benefits from vaccination are well documented. Studies show that flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work, as well as hospitalizations and death.
This is why CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Flu vaccine is available as a shot and as a nasal spray. According to Dr. Schuchat, the most important thing is that you get vaccinated, not which vaccine you get. Employees should talk to their doctor or a health professional about which type of vaccine is best for them.
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies, and drug and grocery stores. Many employers also offer onsite clinics.
Source: www.blr.com; December 4, 2014.