Influenza (Flu)

Why vaccinate adults against influenza?

  • Depending on the severity of circulating strains, the flu kills between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans annually.
  • Influenza can cause serious complications in people with a variety of chronic illnesses, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and immunosuppression.
  • As many as one in five Americans get influenza each year, and while the virus can be mild in some years, it can be very severe in others, causing debilitating illness and death even in previously healthy people. 
  • Direct medical costs of a moderately severe seasonal influenza outbreak average more than $10 billion.

Which adults need influenza vaccine?

  • All adults need influenza vaccine every year.
  • You can get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available in your area or anytime during the influenza season.
  • Adults with certain health conditions including heart disease, asthma, diabetes, a liver or kidney disorder, or a weakened immune system are at especially high-risk for influenza and its complications. In most cases, they should also be vaccinated for pneumococcal disease.
 Did you know...
the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone every year?

What happens when someone gets influenza?
  • The severity of flu can vary based on which strains are circulating. Common symptoms include fever, chills, cough, headache, runny nose, sore throat, joint, and muscle pain.
  • Influenza can become severe, even in healthy people, and can lead to complications resulting in hospitalization or death.
  • People can pass the flu virus to others before they know they are sick.

Why is annual influenza vaccination important?

  • Influenza viruses are very “smart” and they change often to avoid our immune systems. The influenza vaccine is updated annually to include protection against the current viruses circulating.
  • There’s no easy way to know when an influenza season will be severe, so vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and those around you.

How else can I avoid the flu?

  • Getting the influenza vaccine every year is the single most important step toward protection, but there are actions you can take to stay healthy.
    • Visit the CDC’s “Take 3” Actions to Fight the Flu site for additional information on everyday good hygiene tips, like proper use and disposal of tissues when you cough and sneeze, handwashing tips, when to use alcohol-based hand rubs, and more.
    • Appropriate use of antiviral medicines to treat flu, should you get it.Influenza viruses are very “smart” and they change often to avoid our immune systems. The influenza vaccine is updated annually to include protection against the current viruses circulating.

FAQ: Is it OK for me to get the flu vaccine at work or at a grocery or drug store?
 Yes! Influenza vaccines are now available in more places than ever, and it’s a good idea to get yours at the most convenient place for you.



Expanding the Influenza Vaccination Season: A New Paradigm for Increasing Immunization Rates

American Journal of Medicine Supplement (July 2008)

Facts about Influenza for Adults

US Department of Health and Human Services

Flu PSA - audio (2012)

NFID public service announcement (:30 mp3) about influenza prevention Flu Trends Explore flu trends around the World

Help Reduce the Flu @ Work

NFID checklist to educate employees about flu

Immunizing Healthcare Workers Against Influenza: Poster

NFID poster promoting HCP immunization


National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

Influenza Immunization Among Healthcare Personnel - Call to Action

Medical Office Telephone Evaluation of Patients with Possible Influenza

CDC flowchart to help medical office staff identify when to initiate antiviral treatment

Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC)

Real Stories, Real People: A Son’s Life Cut Short By Influenza

Sharon’s Story

Seasonal Influenza (Flu)


What You Need To Know About COPD, Asthma, and Adult Vaccines

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Influenza Season

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention