Flu and Asthma
Flu can make asthma symptoms worse. Annual flu vaccination is especially important for people with asthma to decrease the risk of flu complications.
Risks of Flu Illness for People with Asthma
People with asthma are at greater risk of experiencing flu-related complications because their airways are already compromised, so the inflammation caused by flu symptoms can make their asthma worse.
Having flu and asthma puts you at greater risk of:
- Asthma attacks or a worsening of lung disease
- Complications such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases
Benefits of Flu Vaccination for People with Asthma
Although flu vaccination may not prevent all flu illnesses, vaccination is still beneficial to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.
- Flu vaccination can prevent up to 78% of asthma attacks that lead to ER visits and hospitalizations
- People with asthma who are vaccinated against the flu are less likely to develop pneumonia after getting sick with flu
Flu Vaccines for People with Asthma
Injectable influenza vaccines (flu shots) are the best option for use in people with asthma. Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.
Nasal spray flu vaccines are not recommended for people with asthma. Because the nasal spray is a mist that’s sprayed into an individual’s nostrils, it could trigger asthma symptoms or an asthma attack. Talk to your healthcare provider about which vaccine is best for you.
To read the stories of people with asthma who have been hospitalized or died from flu, visit our Story Gallery.