Yearly flu vaccination is the best tool currently available to protect
against influenza (flu), a serious disease which sickens millions of
people each year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first
and most important step in protecting against flu and its potentially serious complications. Millions of
people have safely received flu vaccines for decades. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’
visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
Reasons to get a flu vaccine:
• Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick from flu.
• Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated
hospitalization, including among children and older adults.
• A 2014 study showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s
risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU)
admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012
• Another study published in the summer of 2016 showed
that people 50 years and older who got a flu vaccine
reduced their risk of getting hospitalized from flu by 57%.
• Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people
with chronic health conditions.
• Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart
disease, especially among those who had a cardiac event in the past year.
• Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people
with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
• Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting vaccinated also protects the
baby several months after birth.
• A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women found that vaccination reduced
the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection by about one half.
• Another study found that babies of women who got a flu vaccine during their pregnancy were about
one-third less likely to get sick with flu than babies in unvaccinated women. This protective benefit
was observed for four months after birth.
• Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
• Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, including those who are more
vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain
chronic health conditions.