The Flu, Your Health and the Importance of Vaccination

The flu season runs from November to April, with most cases occurring between late December and early March. About 10% to 20% of people get the flu every winter [1]. In children, the odds are even worse, with up to 40% of children becoming clinically ill due to the influenza virus.

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccination. Hospitalization and death from flu complications pose real risks. Every year, on average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and approximately 36,000 people die from the flu [2].

Additionally, immunizing children against influenza is perhaps the best method to reduce the occurrence of the flu in the community. If children receive the flu shot but the rest of the family abstains, the influenza attack rate drops by 40%; if parents also get the flu shot, the influenza attack rate drops by 80% [3].