People at High Risk For Flu Complications
exclamation square light iconGetting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk from flu; many of whom are also at high risk for COVID-19 or serious outcomes.
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu.
If you are at high risk of developing serious flu complications, vaccination is especially important. When you get vaccinated, you reduce your risk of getting sick with flu and possibly being hospitalized or dying from flu. This season, getting a flu vaccine has the added benefit of reducing the overall burden on the health care system and saving medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients. September and October are good times to get a flu vaccine.
Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of getting serious complications from flu:
- Adults 65 years and older
- Children younger than 2 years old1
- Neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions
- Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
- Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
- Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
- Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
- Kidney diseases
- Liver disorders
- Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
- People who are obese with a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher
- People younger than 19 years old on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
- People with a weakened immune system due to disease (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or some cancers such as leukemia) or medications (such as those receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, or persons with chronic conditions requiring chronic corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system)
- People who have had a stroke
Other people at high risk from the flu:
- Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy
- American Indians and Alaska Natives
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- 1 Although all children younger than 5 years old are considered at high risk for serious flu complications, the highest risk is for those younger than 2 years old, with the highest hospitalization and death rates among infants younger than 6 months old.
Information on groups at higher risk from COVID-19 is available.
- Flu and COVID-19 Information for the 2020-2021 Flu Season.
- Flu Information for Parents with Young Children
Advice for parents who want to keep their children healthy.
- Influenza Vaccination Information for Health Care Workers
Information on the importance of flu vaccination for people who work in health care.
- Information for Health Professionals
Information about vaccination, infection control, prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of seasonal flu for public health and health care professionals.
- Information for Schools & Childcare Providers
Information on preventing the flu, common questions and answers, and poster materials for schools.