Each year there are about 36,000 flu-related deaths in the United States. The flu vaccine is the best defense against getting the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone 6 months and older get the vaccine. Anyone with a higher risk for complications related to the flu should be vaccinated. This includes:
- Children age 6 months until their 19th birthday
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease)
- People who live in nursing homes
- Household contacts of person at high risk for complications from influenza including infants
- Healthcare workers
Children age 6 months to 8 years who have not received two doses of seasonal flu vaccine in the past may need to receive two flu vaccines this year.