Complications from flu largely preventable with annual flu vaccine

December 6, 2023- During National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 4-8, 2023), leading public health organizations are encouraging everyone to get a flu shot if they have not already done so. The flu is more than an inconvenience: it can lead to hospitalization, worsening of chronic medical conditions or even death. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to help prevent complications from the flu, according to the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association®, the American Lung Association,® the American Diabetes Association® and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases are teaming up to reach those who have not yet received a flu vaccine this season with an important message: it’s not too late to protect yourself and others by getting your flu shot.

Even if you are not at higher risk for a serious case of the flu, getting vaccinated helps protect those around you who are more vulnerable, like people age 65 and older and people with chronic conditions like heart disease or stroke, diabetes or lung disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in recent years, about 9 out of every 10 people who were in the hospital due to the flu had at least one underlying medical condition.

Although the best time to get vaccinated in the U.S. is in the fall, before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, experts say those who haven’t gotten a flu vaccine yet should do so as soon as possible.

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