According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), over 700,000 people were admitted to hospitals during the 2017-18 flu season. What’s even more alarming is that epidemic levels of influenza or pneumonia persisted for 16 consecutive weeks. Using the CDC’s new methodology, the 2017-18 flu season was the first flu season to be classified as high severity across all age groups.
Due to last year’s deadly consequences and prevalence, the CDC is urging everyone to take extra precautions for the upcoming flu season, including getting vaccinated against the flu by the end of October.
When is flu season?
Flu season typically runs from October to May and most flu cases occur between December and February. The vast majority of those who were hospitalized for the seasonal influenza last season weren’t vaccinated. That’s why the CDC is strongly recommending that you get vaccinated as early as possible.
What vaccinations are available?
Each year, the Food and Drug Administration works with the World Health Organization to create a vaccination that contains three or four different strains of the flu. Most of the shots available this year provide protection against four different flu strains. For the 2018-19 season, the nasal vaccination, FluMist, will be available again after not being recommended for use for the previous two flu seasons.
Who should be vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months should get the flu vaccine.
Where are vaccines administered?
Flu vaccinations are administered at doctor’s offices, clinics or pharmacy, or an employer. Some urgent care clinics or local health departments will provide flu vaccines as well. Visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate where you can get a flu vaccine.