National Influenza Vaccination Week Begins Today

To help raise awareness regarding the seriousness of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination throughout the influenza season the Department of Health and Human Services, National Influenza Vaccine Summit, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other partners are conducting activities during the third annual National Influenza Vaccination Week, starting today and running through Dec. 14, 2008.

Throughout this week, CDC will highlight the importance of preventing influenza by vaccination of persons at high risk, their close contacts, and all those who want to be protected from influenza. CDC, Families Fighting Flu, and other partners also have designated tomorrow, Dec. 9, as Children's Flu Vaccination Day to put a special focus on the importance of influenza vaccination to prevent influenza and its complications in children. Thursday, Dec. 11, is Senior Vaccination Day, emphasizing the importance of vaccinating older persons, and Friday, Dec. 12, is designated as Health-Care Worker Vaccination Day, promoting influenza vaccination of health care workers.

According to the CDC: annual influenza vaccination is recommended for the following persons: children aged 6 months-18 years old; pregnant women; persons aged more than 50 years old; persons with certain chronic medical conditions; household contacts and caregivers of children aged less than 5 years old (including household contacts and caregivers of children aged more than 6 months old); children or adults with chronic health conditions; health care workers; anyone else who wishes to decrease their risk of influenza.

Posters and educational materials for National Influenza Vaccination Week are available at www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery. Additional influenza information for health care professionals and patients is available at www.cdc.gov/flu.

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