National Influenza Vaccination Week January 10 through 16

Published 3:02 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The 2009 H1N1 virus is still causing sickness and serious illness. Vaccination is your best protection. There is more vaccine available now, and many retail pharmacy stores have vaccine, so its easier than ever to protect yourself from influenza. Check to find vaccine in your area.

The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus is a contagious disease that can cause mild to severe illness and can lead to hospitalization and even death. The virus spreads mainly when an infected person coughs or sneezes near others.

Studies have shown that pregnant women, healthcare and emergency medical service providers, children, young adults under the age of 25 and adults between the ages of 25 to 64 with an underlying chronic medical condition (such as heart of lung disease) are at increased risk of serious complications from H1N1 influenza virus.

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Young adults aged 18-24 are recommended for vaccination against 2009 H1N1 as this group has been hit disproportionately hard by the virus.

National Influenza Vaccination Week is January 10 through 16.

The number of people who get vaccinated against influenza typically drops after November. With more than 130 million doses of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine available, and with flu illness declining in many areas, Americans who have not been vaccinated have a window of opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Encouraging more people to get vaccinated over the next several weeks could prevent serious illness and death. Thats why the Department of Health and Human Services designated January 10 through 16 as National Influenza Vaccination Week.

One of the many goals for National Influenza Vaccination Week is to engage at-risk audiences who are not yet vaccinated, hesitant about vaccination, or unsure about where to get vaccinated.

Every year, certain days of National Influenza Vaccination Week are designated to encourage specific groups to get vaccinated. This years national schedule includes:

Sunday, January 10: Kick-off.

Monday, January 11: General audience and health care workers .

Tuesday, January 12: People with chronic health conditions that put them at high-risk of serious influenzarelated complications.

Wednesday, January 13: Children, pregnant women, and caregivers of infants less than 6 months old.

Thursday, January 14: Young adults (19 to 24 years old).

Friday, January 15: Seniors.