What can you do to fight the flu?

This year’s flu season has already had a broad impact on many people across the country, with almost all states reporting widespread activity.  In addition to using precautions against spreading germs – like washing your hands and staying home if you feel sick – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has encouraged individuals 6 months old and older to get the flu vaccine.

Despite these recommendations, many individuals every year choose not to receive the flu vaccine.  We’ve asked adults across the country for their perspectives on the flu vaccine in six different NPCH Reports on this topic in recent years. Some of the reasons parents in these polls chose not to have their children vaccinated against the flu were concerns about the safety of the vaccine and the belief that their children were healthy and didn’t need the vaccine. Meanwhile, parents who vaccinated their children against influenza were more concerned about the illness—which has already claimed several children’s lives this flu season—and believed more strongly in the effectiveness of the vaccine.

In addition to flu vaccination, it is recommended that both adults and kids prevent the flu from spreading by staying home from work, school, or day care if they feel sick. However, in a recent NPCH Report, we found that many parents say they don’t have enough paid sick leave and fear losing their jobs or losing pay if they miss work to care for a sick child. Read the full report: Sick kids, struggling parents.

Infographic - When kids get sick: Concerns among parents with kids in child care

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It’s still early in this year’s flu season, so the flu’s impact may still be in its early stages. To lower your risks of getting the flu, the CDC still recommends that adults and children receive the flu vaccine. To get vaccinated against the flu, call your doctor or search for another location in your area where you can receive the flu vaccine with the HealthMap Vaccine Finder.