2015-2016 Influenza Season
As the 2015-2016 influenza (flu) season begins, it is important to be sure that your Head Start or early education and child care program is prepared.
It's time for everyone to get their flu vaccine!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all people aged 6 months and older, especially those with chronic medical conditions, receive the flu vaccine. It takes about two weeks after vaccination to develop antibodies for protection against the flu. Everyone needs a flu vaccine each year, which includes either 3 strains (trivalent) or 4 strains (quadrivalent). Two of the possible 4 virus strains in the vaccine have changed this season from last season. The AAP does not recommend one vaccine over another this season.
The flu is unpredictable.
Anyone, even healthy children and adults, can get very sick, need to be hospitalized, and even die from influenza. That is why vaccination remains the most important step in being protected against influenza and its complications. The flu vaccine is safe, does not cause the flu, and helps to limit people's chance of getting the flu and spreading it to others. It is key that all caregivers and staff be vaccinated against the flu each year. Please also remember that influenza vaccination is recommended for all
pregnant women in any trimester, as well as women who are breastfeeding or who plan to become pregnant during the influenza season. Besides protecting themselves, pregnant women pass their protection from the flu onto their newborns who cannot receive the flu vaccine until they are six months old.
It is a good time to provide
influenza prevention education for staff. Encourage caregivers to: