- Flu News & Surveillance
- Flu Prevention
Resolve to Keep Your Family Healthy with a Flu Shot
Now that the holiday festivities are over it might seem like everyone around you is sick. You’re not imagining things. Peak flu season is here, and, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu positives, outpatient respiratory illness, and flu hospitalizations are all up, too. Whether you’ve entered the new year healthy or with a lingering cold that just won’t quit, consider making this the year you resolve to keep your family healthy with a flu shot.
At Families Fighting Flu, our mission is to educate families about the seriousness of influenza and the vital importance of annual vaccination. Below, we explore some of the reasons why you should still consider getting your flu shot this season.
Seasonal Influenza Activity Remains Elevated
The CDC estimates that as of Jan. 2, 2024, there have been at least 7.1 million illnesses, 73,000 hospitalizations, and 4,500 deaths from flu so far this 2023-24 flu season. One death is too many, but our goal at Families Fighting Flu is to reduce the number of flu deaths and hospitalizations through education, particularly about the effectiveness of flu shots in preventing severe complications and tragedies.
Across the country, seasonal influenza activity is elevated and continues to increase in most states. Flu activity remains particularly high throughout the South, especially Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, as well as in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and the Southwest so if you haven’t already received a flu shot this season know that there are still plenty of chances to ensure your family is protected for the remainder of the season. You can easily find a site to receive a flu vaccine for you and your family members at Vaccines.gov.
It’s Not Too Late for the 2023-24 Flu Vaccine
While it is often recommended that you get your flu shot in the fall so that it can be fully effective before the holiday gathering season, the best time to get your flu shot this season is whenever you can get it! As long as influenza viruses are circling, there is an increased chance of catching the flu and passing it onto loved ones so it’s better to get vaccinated when you can than to go without because you think it’s too late in the flu season. Even now, there is still time for the vaccine to be beneficial and provide protection.
It’s Not Just About You
You know that getting a flu vaccine can keep you from getting sick with the flu, reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations, and make your illness milder if you do get sick, but when it comes to keeping your family healthy one of the most impactful benefits is what getting vaccinated can do for those around you!
Choosing to get your seasonal flu shot can:
- Help protect children, adults 65 years and older, and people with chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart and lung disease that make them at higher risk of developing severe side effects. Whether you’ve got a small child at home or make regular visits to an elderly family member, influenza vaccines provide an additional layer of protection to keep them safe and healthy from flu illness.
- Help protect both pregnant women and their babies for several months after birth from the flu. Studies show that babies born to mothers who’ve received a flu vaccine during pregnancy are 70 percent less likely to suffer with the flu and 81 percent less likely to be hospitalized for flu. Since infants can’t receive a flu vaccine until they are six months of age, the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine in pregnancy as the best way to pass on protection to your newborn.
Our families share their stories to protect children, families, and communities from the potentially devastating effects of influenza in hopes that other families don’t have to suffer. Read the story of Marques Jackson, who died from flu before he was old enough to receive a flu vaccine.
Learn More About Families Fighting Flu
Founded in 2004, Families Fighting Flu (FFF) is a national, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization dedicated to protecting children, families, and communities against the flu through education about the seriousness of influenza. Our organization includes families whose loved ones have suffered serious medical complications or died from influenza, as well as other advocates and healthcare professionals committed to flu education and prevention.
In honor of our loved ones, we work to increase awareness about the seriousness of the disease and to reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths caused by the flu each year by increasing vaccination rates for everyone six months and older. Learn more about our mission and resources here so that you can empower your family to stay healthy this flu season.