National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is a public awareness week that emphasizes the need for influenza vaccination. The week is observed from December 5-11 to remind people to get vaccinated against flu. It works as a gentle reminder to all Americans of age six months and older to get the vaccination if they haven’t got it already.
Since flu is one of the significant health concerns and the cases are at their peak during the winter season, the National Influenza Vaccination Week is celebrated in the month of December. When fall and winter approaches, the flu typically starts to spread, and more and more people get affected by it. Most people show a cavalier attitude to the flu, dismissing it as a bad cold. But in reality, it is much worse than that. It can result in serious health complications and might result in one getting admitted to the hospital. In order to prevent any such mishaps, it is highly recommended to take the vaccination.
To spread awareness about the influenza vaccination and its importance, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) established National Influenza Vaccination Week in 2005. The entire week emphasizes the importance of vaccination and encourages people to book their slots for getting a jab. This year, we hope that you will come forward and join hands in spreading awareness about influenza vaccination.
Learn About Influenza Vaccination
Influenza vaccinations, often known as flu jabs or flu injections, are immunizations that protect against influenza virus infection. Due to the fast evolution of the influenza virus, new versions of vaccines are generated twice a year. These vaccines are well-known for providing modest to high protection against influenza. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination lowers illness, medical visits, hospitalizations, and fatalities.
The vaccination against influenza first took place in 1930, and in America, it came in 1945. With so many benefits, it has managed to take place on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines for the general public.
Facts About Influenza Vaccination:
- Influenza vaccines come with no adverse side effects. They are mostly proven to be safe for the majority of people. However, some common effects after taking the vaccination include tiredness, mild fever, and muscle aches.
- Influenza vaccination is not recommended to babies of six months old or below and people who suffer from acute allergic reactions.
- The influenza vaccine has proven to reduce the risk of getting the flu or falling sick by 40-60%. However, it is still possible for people to come in contact with the virus and get affected by it even after taking a jab.
- After taking an influenza vaccine, it is recommended to avoid close contact with people suffering from flu or more likely to get affected by it. This is because the vaccine takes up to two weeks to develop antibodies and eventually fight the infection or virus.
Importance Of Influenza Vaccination:
- Reduces The Risk Of Hospitalization Because Of Flu: Flu vaccination is known for reducing the risk of hospitalization. In the years 2019 and 2020, it was recorded that the vaccination had prevented 105,000 hospitalizations.
- It Reduces The Severity Of Illness: A study has shown that influenza vaccination has lowered the risk of ICU admission to 26% and deaths from flu to 31%. These numbers prove how important it is to get the flu vaccination on the National Influenza Vaccination Week.
- It Acts As A Preventive Tool For People With Chronic Health Disease: Without a doubt, the vaccine reduces the risk of chronic health diseases. It prevents conditions like lung disease, cardiac events, and more from getting worse. Hence, vaccination works as a shield for people dealing with chronic health diseases.
- Provides Protection To Female During And After Pregnancy: The vaccination safeguards pregnant women from developing lung infections both during and after their pregnancy. Not just the mother, it also protects the newborn from severe diseases for several months.
Different Ways To Observe National Influenza Vaccination Week
If you haven’t already, you still have time to observe the week and bring a change in society. There are various ways to observe the awareness week, some of which are mentioned below. We have curated a list that will assist you in being a part of the celebration.
- Take Time For A Flu Vaccine
National Influenza Vaccination Week is all about encouraging people to take vaccines and prevent themselves and their families from various infections. The awareness week is the perfect time for getting the flu shot. Especially this year, when the risk of SARS-CoV-2 is at its peak, it is highly recommended to get the jab and minimize the risk.
- Learn The Symptoms And Ways To Prevent Flu
In honor of the vaccination week, it is crucial to take out some time to expand your knowledge about the flu and different ways to prevent it. Unless you are well-read about the vaccine, you can not protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Educate People About Flu and Flu Vaccine
Once you are well-versed with all the vital information, you can take a step further and spread awareness about the flu and influenza vaccine. Irrespective of the deadly effects of flu and the importance of flu vaccine for prevention, the majority of the population is unaware of it. Due to the lack of information, they may not make the right decision at the right time. Hence, on the occasion of National Influenza Vaccination Week 2021, make sure you come forward and educate people about flu and flu vaccines.
- Volunteer At A Vaccination Drive
Nothing could be better than volunteering at a vaccination drive on the occasion of National Influenza Vaccination Week. Taking part in the drive will let you help people register for their shots, assist them with getting the vaccination done, and make fun placards to bring them to the vaccination centers. It will also provide an opportunity to reach out to underprivileged people unaware of the importance of influenza vaccination.
- Promote National Influenza Vaccination Week
Promoting the vaccination week is another great way of taking part in the celebration. Since most people are not versed with the National Influenza Vaccination Week, its significance, ways of participation, and more, you can make use of your digital presence and promote the event. You can post on multiple social media platforms, host webinars, share links to online events, etc. Make use of CDC Digital Media Toolkit: 2021-22 Flu Season to get sharable content.
National Influenza Vaccination Week is observed every year from December 5 to December 11. The week is a gentle reminder to stay protected from the flu this winter season. There’s still time if you haven’t already taken the vaccination shot. It’s never too late to take a dose. Along with encouraging yourself, take time and spread awareness among others. Even a little effort can bring a significant change in society.