Add a Flu Shot to your List of New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s not too late for family members of all generations to get vaccinated against influenza

(November 28, 2011)

Many Americans associate influenza with the fall, but you may be surprised to learn that during many flu seasons, influenza activity doesn’t peak until winter or early spring. In fact, virus activity peaked in February or later in more than half of the past 35 flu seasons.

That is why the American Lung Association is spreading the message about the importance of influenza vaccination throughout the winter months and beyond as part of its Faces of Influenza campaign. Everyone 6 months of age and older is recommended for annual immunization, which is safe and effective and the best way to help prevent influenza.

With vaccination recommended and beneficial into the winter months, make it your New Year’s resolution to get immunized – it’s not too late, and you’ll be protecting your health and those around you in one simple and achievable step. After vaccination, it takes about two weeks to be fully protected. Parents – don’t forget that children younger than 9 years of age receiving a flu shot for the first time need two doses approximately one month apart for complete protection.

“We are all ‘faces’ of influenza and are recommended by public health officials to get vaccinated this and every year,” said Norman H. Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. “It’s not too late for family members of all generations to help protect themselves from this potentially deadly disease through immunization.”

About Influenza
Influenza is a serious respiratory illness that kills thousands annually in the U.S. and hospitalizes even more.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. Groups at higher risk of developing influenza-related complications include: adults 50 years of age and older; children 6 months to 18 years of age; pregnant women; anyone with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and diabetes; and residents of long-term care facilities. The CDC also recommends a yearly vaccination for those who come into close contact with high-risk groups, such as household contacts, caregivers and health care providers.

For more information about the importance of influenza vaccination into the winter months and  early spring, visit www.facesofinfluenza.org.

Faces of Influenza is an educational initiative from the American Lung Association, made possible through a collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur.