Influenza vaccine helps to prevent thousands of deaths, hospitalizations, and millions of serious illnesses from influenza every year. The vaccine is safe. Many people have mistaken ideas about flu vaccine. Some think they will get the flu from the vaccine. Others think that since they’ve never had the disease, they won’t get it. Some think they have the “flu” when they have an uncomfortable short respiratory illness. Seasonal viruses other than influenza cause these short, mild illnesses. Usually, influenza is a severe and long-lasting illness. Healthy adults and children who don’t get vaccine can get very sick with flu. It can make them sick for months or kill them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics lists child care workers as a priority group to get flu vaccine. Everyone who is involved with child care and who is medically able to receive flu vaccine should get it. While some medications may reduce the length of the illness from influenza if given right away, they do not cure the disease.