‘Tis the season to prevent the flu

National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 1-7


The holiday season is a time for family and friends to get together and share goodwill. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when influenza is more likely to spread.

Cucamonga Valley Medical Group encourages our patients to talk with their provider about the benefits of having a flu vaccination. All six of our locations in the Inland Empire offer flu shots. Schedule yours today.

Back in 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

Research on previous flu vaccination data reveals that once November ends, people tend to avoid getting vaccinated against influenza. Those numbers need to change.


Add a flu shot to your holiday list

CDC and its partners choose December for NIVW to remind people that even though the holiday season has begun, it is not too late to get a flu vaccine.

As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout flu season in order to protect as many people as possible against flu.

While vaccination is recommended before the end of October, getting vaccinated later can still be beneficial during most seasons for people who have put it off.

Even if you have already gotten sick with flu, you can still benefit from vaccination since many different flu viruses spread during flu season and most flu vaccine protects against four different flu viruses.


It’s not just a ‘bad cold’

Don’t be one of those people who say they just have a bad cold. The flu can result in serious health complications such as pneumonia, bacterial infections and can even lead to hospitalization.

All people are at risk of developing serious flu complications and some groups have a higher risk than others. That’s why prevention is so important.


What do flu vaccines protect against in 2019-20?

Flu viruses are constantly changing. The composition of United States flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses.

Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses (depending on the vaccine) that research suggests will be most common. For 2019-20, trivalent (three-component) vaccines are recommended to contain:

  • A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
  • A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus

Quadrivalent (four-component) vaccines, which protect against a second lineage of B viruses, are recommended to contain the three recommended viruses above, plus:

  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus.

Plenty of good reasons to get the vaccine

Anyone who gets flu can pass it to someone at high risk of severe illness, including children younger than 6 months who are too young to get a flu vaccine.

There are many reasons to get a flu vaccine each year:

  • A flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu. In 2016-17, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working-age adults and older adults. An estimated 85,000 flu-related hospitalizations were prevented in 2016-17.
  • Flu vaccination helps prevent serious medical events associated with some chronic conditions.
  • Flu vaccination can be life-saving in children.

For additional information about NIVW, click here.