The holiday season is upon us and for many of us that means spending more time with family and friends. We don’t want to miss out, and we want to help keep our families safe, so remember it is not too late to get your flu shot.
Here are some important tips and bits of information the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (in Español) (in English) want you to know about influenza (flu) and how you can help protect your family from flu viruses:
- A yearly flu vaccine is your best defense against flu viruses.
- The flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common this season.
- You need to get vaccinated with this season’s vaccine; last’s season’s flu shot will no longer protect you.
- Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the 2012-2013 vaccines are available.
- The flu can make anyone sick, but some people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu, such as hospitalization or even death, including the following groups:
- Adults 50 years of age and older
- Children younger than five years of age, but especially younger than two
- People with chronic lung disease (such as asthma and COPD), diabetes (types 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions, and certain other chronic conditions
- Those who are morbidly obese (body-mass index of 40 or greater)
- Pregnant women and women within the first two weeks after delivery
- Other groups listed at the CDC website
- Some flu seasons are worse than others: Between 1976 and 2006, yearly flu-related deaths in the United States ranged from 3,000 to 49,000 people.
- An estimated 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population is infected with the flu, and more than 200,000 people may be hospitalized during a flu season.
- A new batch of flu vaccine is made each year as needed to protect against the three flu viruses that research indicates will be the most common.
- To reduce severe flu illness among high-risk people, vaccinate them—and their close contacts.
- You can find flu vaccinations at many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies, and college health centers, as well as some workplaces and schools.
For more information, please check out the CDC’s flu pages in English and/or in Español. And please always consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your personal health circumstances.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with the National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership. As always my comments and opinions are my own. Please read Mama Latina Tips General Health Legal Disclaimer and Information Purposes Legal Disclosure.