In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. The overall health impact (i.e., infections, hospitalizations, and deaths) of a flu season varies from season to season.
Healthy People Need the Flu Vaccine: Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease which can lead to serious illness, including pneumonia. Even healthy people can get sick enough to miss work or school for a significant amount of time or even be hospitalized.
Recommendation: An annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Pregnant women, young children, older people, and people with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease are at increased risk of serious flu-related complications, so getting a yearly flu vaccine is especially important for them.
- Pediatric Deaths—A total of 101 flu-associated deaths in children occurring during the 2016-2017 season have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In past seasons, between 80% and 85% of flu-associated pediatric deaths have occurred in children who had not gotten a flu vaccine that season.
- Hospitalizations and Pneumonia—During the 2015-2016 flu season, the CDC estimated that 310,000 people were hospitalized for flu-related illness. Pneumonia consistently accounts for the overwhelming majority of the combined pneumonia and influenza deaths. In 2013, 53,282 people died from pneumonia and 3,550 people died from influenza (American Lung Association November 2015).
- Is the Flu Vaccine Safe? The flu vaccine is safe, does not cause the flu, and can protect the ones you love! If you are allergic to eggs, the recommendations have been changed so you may now receive the flu vaccine. A flu vaccine is not recommended for people with a life-threatening egg allergy.
Where can you receive the flu vaccine? Your local Family Health Care Pharmacy, Medical Office or Child and Adolescent Health Center (CAHC) will give flu vaccinations—simply walk in and ask for the flu vaccination.
When is the best time to receive the flu vaccine? The best advice is to receive your flu vaccine now so you are protected before the flu season peaks.
Payment for flu vaccine? Your insurance company will be billed for the vaccination or you may pay out of pocket.