This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, established by the CDC to encourage people to get vaccinated as we enter the holiday season. In the past few years, estimates have shown that flu vaccination activity drops quickly after November. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot this year, it’s not too late. Flu season typically peaks in January or February, and vaccination remains beneficial as long as long as the viruses are spreading and causing illness. The flu season can last as late as May. Even if you’ve already become sick, getting vaccinated can still protect you from other strains of the virus which are circulating this season. The CDC recommends yearly flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older.
Last year, we interviewed William Shaffner, MD, the immediate past president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, about the importance for all adults to become fully immunized according to recommended schedules. Dr. Shaffner had some simple advice for those considering whether or not to get the flu vaccine: Just do it!
For more information about the 2013-2014 flu season, check out the CDC’s resource page.