Even though Valentine’s Day has passed, we want to bring the focus back to love and ways to show each other we care. After all, shouldn’t we focus more on that every day? At Immunize Colorado, one of the many reasons we vaccinate is to show our love to our partners, family members, co-workers, and community. Did you know? Getting an annual flu vaccine is one of the most loving ways to show those around you that they’re important to you.
Isn’t it too late to get a flu vaccine?
While the flu season is already in full swing, it’s not too late to get the vaccine! According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), there have been nearly 3,000 flu hospital admissions in Colorado already this season and the flu season could last well into spring. Help ensure you, your friends, and your neighbors don’t become part of this statistic by getting a flu vaccine–and encouraging others to get theirs, too.
But “I’m healthy,” you say. “I don’t need a flu vaccine.”
Think flu is just a severe cold? Think again! The truth is the flu is serious and can be deadly – even for healthy people. In fact, this flu season, the CDC estimates that there have already been 25 million flu illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations from flu, and 18,000 deaths from flu nationwide. Flu is especially dangerous to young children, those over 65, and people with weakened immune systems. Since people over 65 make up a majority of flu hospitalizations each year, it is recommended they get a higher dose flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months of age and older.
I’ve heard I should avoid the flu vaccine if I’m pregnant. Is this true?
No! Pregnant people are at increased risk of complications from flu infection including increased risk of hospitalization and death. Their unborn babies are also at increased risk for complications like preterm birth, low birth weight, and birth defects. Another factor to consider is that since infants aren’t eligible to be vaccinated for the first six months of life, vaccination during pregnancy keeps them protected during this time through what’s called “passive immunity,” or immunity passed from the mother to their baby while pregnant. The flu vaccine is not just safe during pregnancy, it’s extremely important!
You protect others when you get vaccinated for the flu.
When you get the flu vaccine, you’re not just protecting yourself. Annual flu vaccination helps stop the spread of the influenza virus so you can protect others both within your home and out in the community. Flu is the second deadliest vaccine-preventable disease in the U.S. next to COVID-19. To stay protected, we each have to do our part by getting vaccinated – it’s one of the best ways to show others you care and #QuietTheFlu this season!
Here are some other flu vaccine facts to keep in mind:
- The flu vaccine helps reduce the severity of illness if you do get the flu and can even reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying.
- People with chronic health conditions, people with weakened immune systems, and those who can’t be vaccinated themselves rely on the rest of us to be vaccinated so they can stay protected.
- The flu vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines, including vaccines and boosters for COVID-19.
- The flu vaccine is very safe, and it cannot give you the flu.
- The flu vaccine is the BEST tool we have to fight the flu!
Immunize Colorado was formed in 1991 in response to alarmingly low vaccination rates across the state. At the time, only about 50% of Colorado’s children were adequately vaccinated. A group of physicians and other concerned individuals came together to strategize how to protect Coloradans from vaccine-preventable diseases and increase vaccine uptake. Much work remains. You can donate or discover other ways to get involved in supporting our commitment to healthy Colorado communities today!