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Announcement: National Influenza Vaccination Week --- January 10--16, 2010

Each year during National Influenza Vaccination Week, the importance of influenza vaccination and the need for persons to receive vaccination throughout the entire October--May influenza season are highlighted. Influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its severe complications.

This influenza season, with circulation of the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus, influenza activity early in the traditional season was much higher than normal. As of mid-November, an estimated 47 million persons in the United States had been infected with the H1N1 virus, resulting in an estimated 213,000 hospitalizations and 9,820 deaths (1). In contrast with previous influenza seasons, through November 14, approximately 87% of influenza-related deaths from the H1N1 virus had occurred among persons aged <65 years (1). Thus far this season, H1N1 viruses have predominated, but future waves of influenza activity might occur from either H1N1 or regular seasonal influenza viruses.

Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine is the best way to protect against H1N1 (2). As of December 29, 2009, approximately 116 million doses of vaccine had become available for distribution since vaccine shipping began in October. Most jurisdictions now are making vaccine available to all persons. H1N1 vaccination continues to be particularly important for pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers of infants aged <6 months, health-care and emergency medical services personnel, all persons aged 6 months--24 years, and persons aged 25--64 years with medical conditions associated with higher risk for complications from influenza. In addition, as in every influenza season, persons who want to reduce their risk for seasonal influenza should receive the seasonal influenza vaccine (3). However, nearly all seasonal influenza vaccine has been distributed, and supplies are now limited.

Throughout the week of January 10--16, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, and other agencies will be highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. On January 11, events will focus on communicating to the general public and health-care workers about the importance of influenza vaccination. January 12 events will highlight the importance of H1N1 vaccination for persons with chronic health conditions (particularly those aged 25--64 years) that put them at increased risk for serious influenza-related complications. On January 13, emphasis will be focused on pregnant women, children, and caregivers of infants aged <6 months. January 14 events will focus on young adults and college students, and January 15 events will highlight information for seniors.

Posters and other influenza educational materials are available to download for local printing and distribution at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/NIVW/daily_materials.htm. Other influenza-related tools and information for health-care professionals and patients are available at http://www.flu.gov.

Reference

  1. CDC. CDC estimates of 2009 H1N1 influenza cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States, April--November 14, 2009. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2009. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/estimates_2009_h1n1.htm. Accessed January 4, 2010.
  2. CDC. Use of influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2009. MMWR 2009;58(No. RR-10).
  3. CDC. Prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2009. MMWR 2009;58(No. RR-8).

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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Date last reviewed: 1/6/2010

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