Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?Influenza, or “flu” as it is commonly known, is described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being “a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death.”
The number of flu cases in Australia this year is 2.5 times that of the same time period last year. The American Council on Science and Health suggest this could give us a projected look at the flu season in the United States this winter, and that we could see numbers that are over the usual.
An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
The North Dakota Department of Health urges everyone six months of age and older to get vaccinated. Parents of children under three years of age are advised to make an appointment with their child’s pediatrician. Adults also may schedule an appointment with their provider’s office to receive a flu shot.
Trinity Health will bill all verified insurances, and people are asked to bring a copy of their insurance cards.
Benefits of flu vaccination:
- • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.
- • Flu vaccination can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated).
- • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick
- • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations and deaths.
- • A recent study* showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.
- • One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season.
- • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year. Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
- • Vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu.
- • Other studies have shown that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations in older adults. A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness over the course of three flu seasons estimated that flu vaccination lowered the risk of hospitalizations by 61% in people 50 years of age and older.
* References for the studies listed above can be found at Publications on Influenza Vaccine Benefits.