Influenza

People with lung disease like asthma and COPD are at particular risk to develop serious symptoms from flu. If you suffer from lung disease, contact your health care provider if you feel the onset of flu symptoms. 
 

Why should I get vaccinated against the flu?

Influenza is a serious illness, which can kill up to 49,000 across the U.S., during a severe flu season. A flu vaccination is the best protection against the flu.  Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but it helps keep you from spreading the flu to others.

 

Who should get vaccinated this year?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently recommended that everyone six-months of age and older get vaccinated.  The fact that healthy adults were hardest hit by 2009 H1N1 virus prompted the CDC to broaden the “at risk” group to everyone over six-months old. This new “universal” recommendation reinforces the fact that the flu is serious and that vaccination is your best protection.

 

Can you get the flu from the flu shot?

No. The viruses in inactivated influenza vaccine have been killed, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine. The vaccine is very safe. Rarely an allergic reaction may occur; especially in people who are allergic to eggs in which the virus is grown. Serious problems from influenza vaccine are very rare. The most typical side effect is soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.

 

Is the flu vaccine safe for children?

Children typically experience the highest rates of influenza infection each year. Influenza vaccines have been found to be both safe and effective for children.

 

Is the flu vaccine effective for older adults?

Adults 65 years of age and older are among the hardest hit by influenza. Annual vaccination remains the best protection. But, as people age, their immune function tends to decrease, which makes older adults not only more susceptible to infections, but also less responsive to vaccination. However, the FDA has recently licensed a new higher dose vaccine for people 65 and older.  You can learn more here.

 

Where can people go to get vaccinated?

There are several different places where people can go to get vaccinated against influenza.  The first step is to ask your healthcare provider about influenza vaccination. You can also contact your local public health department to find a vaccination provider near you. 

 

Where can I learn more about the flu?

You should always consult your healthcare provider for specific health and treatment guidance – including questions about the flu and how to protect yourself and your loved ones. There are also a number of websites you can visit for helpful flu information. You can visit our own influenza pages as well these other helpful sites:
• www.cdc.gov
• www.flu.gov

You can also call our Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-548-8252) for one-on-one advice and information.