National Influenza Vaccination Week, observed December 5–11 this year, is a call to all Americans 6 months and older to get their annual flu vaccine. Flu is a major public health concern, and this week is a reminder that there is still time to get a flu vaccine—the only vaccine that protects against flu—to prevent flu illness and potentially serious complications. Getting a vaccine every year is the best way to prevent flu because flu viruses constantly change, and vaccination protection decreases over time.
Vaccination in December or later is still beneficial, and the vaccine is especially encouraged to help everyone stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines are particularly important for people who are most vulnerable to developing serious flu complications, including people with certain chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, in past flu seasons, 9 out of 10 adults hospitalized for flu had at least one underlying medical condition.
Many Vaccine Options
For the 2021–2022 season, CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine. These include:
- Injectable flu vaccines, or flu shots. These include:
- Flu shots that are made with inactivated viruses.
- One flu shot that is made without influenza viruses.
- A live attenuated influenza vaccine, which is given by nasal spray.
There are many flu vaccine options, and CDC does not recommend any one vaccine over another. Different vaccines are approved for different groups of people.
- Some flu shots are approved for use in children as young as 6 months old and others are approved for use in adults 65 years and older.
- Flu shots also are recommended for pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for people from age 2 to 49 who are not pregnant. People who are pregnant and people with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.
Getting a flu vaccine is the best way for everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu. Join our nationwide call to action with resources, messages, and activities from CDC’s Digital Media Toolkit and join the conversation online with #FightFlu.