National Influenza Vaccination Week

National Influenza Vaccination Week

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is an annual reminder to get your flu vaccine shot. The season for flu is unpredictable, and it can start as early as fall and last up to spring. Flu activity peaks during winter, so public healthcare professionals, advocates, and communities join hands to promote flu vaccination. Many people tend to dismiss flu as a cold, but it's more than that. Flu can cause serious health complications, such as bacterial infections or pneumonia, and can get you admitted to a hospital. If not treated at the right time, flu can even lead to death. To prevent such mishaps and to raise awareness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created National Influenza Vaccination Week in 2005.


Summary of the history of National Influenza Vaccination Week:

Do your grandparents ever mention the Spanish Flu? Also called the 1918 Influenza pandemic, it was one of the deadliest flu outbreaks in human history. The H1 N1 influenza virus caused it to spread across the globe near the end of World War I. The earliest case of the flu was detected in military personnel in Kansas in March 1918. The Spanish flu pandemic killed between 25-50 million people worldwide, with a particularly high death toll in young adults. It also caused a high number of deaths in the United States, where 675,000 people died. Vaccination against influenza began in the 1930s, but it was not widely available to civilians in America until 1945. One of the leading researchers of this vaccine was Dr. Jonas Salk, who is best known for developing the polio vaccine in the 1950s.


Despite the availability of vaccines, the United States still sees tens of thousands of influenza-related deaths each year. Influenza can affect anyone, but those at the highest risk include the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic illnesses. To prevent the spread of the flu to those at high risk of severe illness, including babies younger than 6 months, the CDC urges everyone to get vaccinated. So let's celebrate National Influenza Vaccination Week as responsible citizens and continue the flu vaccination season, in order to protect as many people as possible. 


When is the best time to get the flu vaccine?

Doctors sometimes advise pregnant women to get the vaccine in their third trimester, so that the baby is safe after birth.


When should a pregnant person get a vaccine?

It is generally recommended that pregnant women get the vaccine in their third trimester so that the baby is protected after birth. However, women can get the vaccine at any time during their pregnancy.


Is it possible to contract an infection after receiving a vaccine?

It is possible to contract the virus even after receiving the vaccination, but the vaccine reduces the risk of getting sick by 40-60%.


How long does the vaccine take to protect people from the disease?

It takes up to two weeks for a flu vaccine to develop antibodies to fight the virus. Therefore, it is advisable to be cautious and avoid close contact during this time to help prevent the spread of the virus.


How can we make the most of National Influenza Vaccination Week?

It's important to get vaccinated against the flu, and you can help by sharing your story on social media. You could inspire others to get vaccinated and potentially save lives.


What better way to commemorate Vaccination Week than by volunteering at a vaccination drive? You can help people register for slots, make fun placards to direct them to vaccination centers or reach out to underprivileged people. By lending a helping hand, you can make a real difference in the fight against the disease. By volunteering your time, you can help ensure that everyone has access to life-saving vaccinations.


I think it's important to stay informed about the flu vaccine and other important health information. The CDC often hosts webinars to promote vaccination, and I think it's important to participate in these events to stay up-to-date on the latest information.


Here are five facts about influenza vaccination that you should know:

  • While influenza vaccines are generally safe for children, some may experience common side effects such as muscle pain, tiredness, or mild fever.


  • It typically takes around two weeks for people with good immunity who have the flu to recover, but some people may develop serious complications.


  • It is important to strictly avoid contact with other people for five to seven days after you are diagnosed with the flu, as it is highly contagious even before symptoms appear.


  • The vaccine may pose a risk for people with severe allergies, so it is important to be aware of the potential for an allergic reaction.


  • The flu virus can enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth, in the same way that the COVID-19 virus can.


There are a few reasons why influenza vaccination is important.

By getting vaccinated against the flu, you significantly reduce your risk of being hospitalized due to the virus. In 2019 and 2020, vaccination drives prevented an estimated 105,000 hospitalizations.


The vaccine protects pregnant women from contracting lung infections during and after pregnancy, which can also help to prevent the baby from getting sick for several months after birth.


Flu vaccination is a potentially life-saving measure for children, as it can help reduce the risk of death from the flu.
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