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7 Reasons Fall is When Families Should Get Their Flu Shots

Posted on September 14, 2023
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Cayden was a healthy, bubbly, talkative 3 1/2-year-old who loved the color pink when she was taken to the hospital in early December 2014 sick with a fever, nausea and excessive mucus. Her family took her to the doctor twice but her condition didn’t improve. Finally, on December 5, she stopped breathing while napping and passed away at the hospital from complications of influenza

Cayden’s story is just one of the dozens of experiences we’ve gathered at Families Fighting Flu that indicate the importance of getting your flu shots early in the flu season

Getting your family’s flu shots in September is a strategic choice that offers a range of benefits. 

While the flu might seem like a common illness, it’s important to recognize that it can have serious consequences, particularly for vulnerable populations like children. Below, we explore why September is the perfect time to consider getting your flu shot.

  1. Early Protection is Key.

Flu viruses can begin circulating as early as September, and it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to build full immunity. By getting vaccinated early, you’re ensuring that your family is protected well before flu activity peaks.

  1. Prevent Missed School and Work 

Influenza can cause significant disruptions to your family’s routine. Children with flu symptoms often need to stay home from school, while parents might have to take time off work to care for sick kids. Getting vaccinated in September means you and your children can reduce the risk of missed days due to illness.

  1. Pediatric Flu Complications Are Serious

Young children like Cayden are at a particularly high risk of severe flu complications. These can include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, hospitalization, and even death. Vaccinating your children in September offers them the best defense against these potentially dangerous outcomes.

  1. Protect the Vulnerable

We all know the basic steps to prevent cases of influenza: wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and . But do we all know about the simplest way to protect those with weaker or weakened immune systems? Vaccinating yourself and your family protects your loved ones and contributes to the overall health of your community. This is especially important for those who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical reasons, such as severe allergies or weakened immune systems. Your vaccination helps create a protective barrier around those who are more susceptible.

  1. Prevent Flu Deaths

Flu statistics highlight the seriousness of the illness. In recent years, the flu has led to thousands of hospitalizations and even deaths. 

The CDC reported 174 pediatric flu deaths during the 2022-2023 flu season. Our goal at Families Fighting Flu is to reduce the number of flu deaths and hospitalizations through education. We aim to protect children, families, and communities from the potentially devastating effects of influenza in hopes that another family doesn’t have to suffer like Cayden’s. Vaccinating in September reduces the likelihood of the most tragic outcomes.

  1. Maximize Flu Shot Effectiveness

The flu vaccine‘s effectiveness can vary from season to season. Getting vaccinated early increases your chances of optimal protection, as the vaccine’s effectiveness might wane over time. Current recommendations state that everyone 6 months and older should get an annual flu vaccine.

  1. Maintain Flu Preparedness

With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to be prepared for other illnesses that can impact your family. Choosing to get your flu shots in September is a proactive approach that safeguards your family’s health during a time of potential health challenges.

Learn More About Fighting the Flu

Families Fighting Flu educates about the seriousness of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination so that no one suffers serious flu complications or death. Learn more about our mission and resources here and empower your family to stay healthy this flu season.

 

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