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What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

While how well the flu vaccine works can vary, there are a lot of reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, including among children and older adults.
    • A 2014 study* showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.
    • Another study published in the summer of 2016 showed that people 50 years and older who got a flu vaccine reduced their risk of getting hospitalized from flu by 57%.
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
    • Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
    • Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
  • Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting vaccinated can also protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.)
    • A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women found that vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection by about one half.
    • There are studies that show that flu vaccine in a pregnant woman can reduce the risk of flu illness in her baby by up to half. This protective benefit was observed for up to four months after birth.
  • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

*References for the studies listed above can be found at Publications on Influenza Vaccine Benefits. Also see the What are the Benefits of Flu Vaccination? [237 KB, 2 pages] fact sheet.

Digital Resources

  • Why Get a Flu Vaccine? Fact Sheet
  • Flu Vaccine Protects You and Your Family Infographic
  • The Benefits of Flu Vaccination 2015-2016 Infographic
  • Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family
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