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Influenza Information

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What You Need to Know About Influenza

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people should get vaccinated against the flu every year for two reasons. The first reason is that because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the most recent and most commonly circulating viruses.

The second reason that yearly vaccination is recommended is that a person's immune protection from vaccination declines over time so annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection. So, yearly vaccination is recommended even for those who received the vaccine during the previous season.

CDC Recommendations

While flu activity usually peaks in January or February, the flu itself is unpredictable. And although there are many different flu viruses, the yearly flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common that flu season.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each flu season. It's especially important that the following groups get vaccinated, either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

  • Health care workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

For a complete list of all people recommended for flu vaccination, as well as those who are not recommended for flu vaccination, visit Who Should Get Vaccinated.

Keeping our MultiCare Hospitals Influenza Free

To limit the spread of contagious illnesses, anyone who has any of the symptoms listed below should not visit any patient care areas:

  • Fever above 100.4 degrees
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches or extreme fatigue
  • Chills
  • Vomiting, nausea or diarrhea

Young children are especially likely to get sick from the flu and other illnesses, and though it may take several days for them to show symptoms, they can easily pass the virus to others, including our most vulnerable patients.

During the flu season, we may also implement additional screenings or visitor restrictions, to help protect our patients.

Flu Vaccinations Are Now Available

Keep yourself and your family healthy this cold and flu season with a flu shot. The flu virus can change from year to year, so everyone should get a new flu shot each season. Schedule a flu vaccine at a MultiCare clinic today.