National Influenza Vaccination Week is aimed at highlighting the importance of people getting their flu shot. Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, is one of the most common and contagious seasonal viruses. The flu is a respiratory illness that affects the nose, throat, and lungs, and can spread through coughing, sneezing or talking. It is a mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. The best and most reliable way to prevent contracting the flu is to receive a flu shot each year.
It is extremely important to get vaccinated each season because flu viruses can vary each year. There are many different vaccination options that should be discussed with your health care provider that include:
- Standard and high dose trivalent shots
- Quadrivalent shots
- Nasal spray vaccines
Flu vaccination should begin soon after the vaccine becomes available, if possible by October. However, if flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even in January or later. To learn more about the flu and proper vaccination please visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.