Get Your Family Vaccinated!

Get Your Family Vaccinated!
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Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect you and your family from flu.

The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated by the end of October, if possible. A few things to note for this flu season:

  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating flu viruses.
  • For the second year, only injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) are recommended. LAIV, a nasal spray vaccine, is not recommended for use.

Parents: What You Need to Know this Flu Season… The flu can be very dangerous for children. CDC estimates that since 2010, between 7,000 and 26,000 children younger than 5 years of age have been hospitalized each year in the United States because of flu. 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.

YOU have the power to protect your child and your family from flu this season by getting vaccinated and making sure everyone in your family 6 months and older gets their yearly flu vaccine too.

This season, only injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) are recommended for use. The nasal spray vaccine LAIV is NOT recommended for use because of concerns about how well it might work. Learn more about flu vaccine options available for children this season.
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Keep your family strong. Vaccinate. Fight Flu.

What should you do if you or someone in your family gets sick with the flu?… Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.). There are drugs your doctor may prescribe for treating the flu called “antivirals.” These drugs can make you better faster and also may prevent serious complications.

Antiviral drugs are prescription drugs that can be used to treat flu illness. People at high risk of serious flu complications (such as children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, people with certain long-term medical conditions, and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities) and people who are very sick with flu (such as those hospitalized because of flu) should get antiviral drugs. Other people can be treated with antivirals at their health care professional’s discretion. Treating high risk people or people who are very sick with flu with antiviral drugs is very important. Studies show that prompt treatment with antiviral drugs can prevent serious flu complications. Prompt treatment can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.

Treatment with antivirals works best when begun within 48 hours of getting sick, but can still be beneficial when given later in the course of illness. Antiviral drugs are effective across all age and risk groups. Studies show that antiviral drugs are under-prescribed for people who are at high risk of complications who get flu. Three FDA-approved antiviral medications are recommended for use during the 2017-2018 flu season: oseltamivir (available in generic versions and under the trade name Tamiflu®), zanamivir (Relenza®), and peramivir (Rapivab®). More information about antiviral drugs can be found at Treatment – Antiviral Drugs.

You can join the effort to fight flu by getting your flu vaccine and encouraging people to protect themselves and their family by doing the same.  Join the conversation online with the hashtag #FightFlu, and show your support by joining CDC’s #FightFlu Thunderclap.

Learn more about what’s new for the 2017-2018 flu season.
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