COVID-19 mitigation measures resulted in a historically low influenza season.
The American College of Physicians is urging and recommending all adults get vaccinated against influenza as part of National Influenza Vaccination Week, which is Dec. 5-11.
The recommendations comes just prior to an expected influx in holiday gatherings and indoor gatherings because of winter weather, as well as because of the continued threat of COVID-19.
In 2005, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created National Influenza Vaccination Week to promote immunizing against the flu just prior to the holiday season before influenza season is in full swing.
The recommendations come at a time where there is some uncertainty as to what influenza season holds in store. The ACP also calls for physicians to urge all patients to get vaccinated, either through the physician’s office or at a community-based vaccine provider.
The 2020-2021 influenza season was unusually low, mainly because of the COVID-19 mitigation measures including masks, staying home, hand washing, school closures, reduced travel, increased ventilation, and social distancing.
However, it is unknown how this flu season will go as some of those mitigation measures has been lessened.
“While last year’s influenza season was historically low, National Influenza Vaccination Week is a reminder that every season is different and people need to protect themselves by getting a flu vaccine,” said George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, MACP, President, ACP, in a statement.
“All adults should get their recommended immunizations, including the influenza vaccine, which help prevent illness, missed time from work, disability, and hospitalizations. Vaccines are safe and effective – and it is especially important for people at high risk of flu-related complications including all adults over 65, adults with chronic conditions, and women who are pregnant.”