By the Numbers: Getting Ahead of Flu Season

October 8, 2021

Every year like clockwork, the flu season descends again. While most people can recover from the flu without complications, the virus can be dangerous for others with weakened immune systems. The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. Here’s what you should know.

Why Get a Flu Vaccine

  • A flu vaccine can reduce your risk of flu illness by 40%–60%
  • In 2019–2020, flu vaccination prevented an estimated:
    • 7.5 million flu illnesses
    • 3.7 million flu-related medical visits
    • 105,000 flu-related hospitalizations
    • 6,300 flu-associated deaths

What Makes a Flu Vaccine Effective

At least two factors play an important role in determining the likelihood that the flu vaccine will protect a person from flu illness:

  1. Characteristics of the person being vaccinated (age and health)
  2. Similarity or “match” between the flu viruses the flu vaccine is designed to protect against and the flu viruses spreading in the community

When to Get Your Flu Vaccine

  • Get a flu vaccine every year
  • Get your flu vaccine by the end of October

Other Ways to Prevent the Flu

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  2. Stay home if you’re sick
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  4. Wash your hands often with soap and water
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.