Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. An annual influenza vaccine, given in the fall, now is recommended for nearly everyone over the age of 6 months, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The flu is a virus that infects the respiratory system (nose, throat and lungs). Flu symptoms often come on quickly. They may include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and tiredness.
It also can lead to pneumonia and even death. Pregnant women, young infants and anyone with ongoing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma have a greater risk of becoming seriously ill from the infection.
The flu spreads quickly this time of year because children are close to each other in school, share materials and may not wash their hands as often as they should. Vaccinations and good hand washing are proven ways to protect yourself and everyone around you from the flu.
CDC Flu Vaccine Fact Sheet
Is FluMist® available this year?
For the 2016-2017 flu season, the CDC has recommended using only an injectable influenza vaccine (flu shot). While FluMist® nasal flu vaccine is very safe, the CDC has determined that the nasal flu vaccine will not be as effective as the flu shot for the influenza strains predicted for the season. The CDC will continue to follow influenza seasons closely and issue annual recommendations. FluMist® may be available again in future years.