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National Flu Vaccine Week aims to get more people vaccinated

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Monday is the start of National Influenza Vaccination Week, and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases is urging everyone age 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine, especially adults whose chronic health conditions put them at higher risk.

Flu activity in the U.S. and Indiana is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed seven new influenza deaths in Indiana in its latest report, released Friday.

In the report, the CDC also shows that 11 Hoosiers have died so far this flu season. The agency also moved Indiana into the ‘very high’ flu category on the CDC flu map, which was last updated Friday and covers the week ending Nov. 26.

The CDC also estimates that there have been at least 8.7 million illnesses, 78,000 hospitalizations, and 4,500 deaths from influenza this season.

Flu cases, along with the still continued coronavirus infections and RSV season, are causing strain for some hospitals.

Dr. John Christensen is a professor of clinical pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine. Christensen says there are ways to help prevent you and your family from getting the flu or other illnesses.

“We have vaccines that can prevent influenza, not only for children but also in adults, right? At the same time, we have vaccines that can prevent COVID, so it’s very important that everybody in the family cohort gets vaccinated against these viruses, so that way, you protect everybody,” Christensen said.

Christensen says that, since the beginning of the pandemic, it has become more difficult to predict the start of flu season. It typically doesn’t start until January, but it hit earlier this year, much like RSV.

Learn more about the flu vaccine at the CDC website.