While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks between December and February.Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.
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Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza.
See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.
The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018.
Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people.
For more information, updates, and access to free materials to assist with educating staff and patients about the impact of influenza and the benefits of vaccination, visit CDC Seasonal Influenza (Flu) or call the National Immunization Hotline at (800) 232-2522 (English), (800) 232-0233 (español), or (800) 243-7889 (TTY). Preventing nosocomial influenza by improving the vaccine acceptance rate of clinicians. Saito R, Suzuki H, Oshitani H, Sakai T, Seki N, Tanabe N. Randomized, placebo-controlled double blind study on the efficacy of influenza immunization on absenteeism of health care workers. Wilde JA, Mc Millan JA, Serwint J, Butta J, O’Riordan MA, Steinhoff MC. Influenza vaccination of health care workers in long-term-care hospitals reduces the mortality of elderly patients.