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.
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:
People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
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.
To limit the spread of contagious illnesses, anyone who has any of the symptoms listed below should not visit any patient care areas:
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.
MultiCare Health System is preparing for cold and flu season. Flu vaccines will be available in our clinics starting in October. Check this website for updates to find out when you can get your flu vaccine at a MultiCare clinic.