National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW): December 4 – 10

December 4-10 marks National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). This week reminds people that it’s not too late to get their flu vaccine.

The flu is defined as “a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The best way to combat this illness is to first, get a flu vaccine every year, and to second, know the basic facts about the flu:

  1. Signs that mean you may have the illness include muscle or body aches, cough, fever, chills, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose and fatigue. If you are experiencing a combination of these symptoms, it may be time to seek medical attention.
  2. Those at high risk for the illness include pregnant women, children under the age of 5, adults 65 years of age and over, nursing home and long-term care facility residents, as well as American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
  3. It is recommended to get vaccinated at the end of October.
  4. Everyone who is 6 months and older should be vaccinated.

Often, providers struggle to help patients understand the benefits of immunizations. Health Quality Innovators (HQI) is here to help. We are working with clinicians in Maryland to improve reporting of immunizations through electronic health records. For more information on this initiative please visit:

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