American College of Physicians urges all adults to get influenza vaccination

National Influenza Vaccination Week reminds us that getting an influenza shot is more important than ever

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 3, 2021 – In recognition of National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 5-11), the American College of Physicians (ACP) is urging all adults to make it a priority to get vaccinated as influenza season, holiday gatherings, and winter weather are here, as well as the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the National Influenza Vaccination Week in 2005 as a reminder that the influenza season isn’t just around the holidays but throughout the winter into early spring. Additionally, holiday gatherings can also pose a risk for influenza. It’s not too late to get vaccinated against influenza!

According to the CDC, influenza activity last season was unusually low as COVID-19 mitigation measures such as wearing face masks, staying home, hand washing, school closures, reduced travel, increased ventilation of indoor spaces, and physical distancing, likely contributed to the decline in 2020-2021 influenza incidence, hospitalizations, and deaths. However, every flu season can be unpredictable, so the best way to ensure you stay healthy and protect your loved ones is to get vaccinated.

“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. “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.”

ACP calls on all physicians to make strong recommendations urging all of their patients to get vaccinated. And patients are encouraged to come to their physician’s office or visit community-based vaccine providers (e.g., pharmacies) for influenza vaccination and other necessary vaccines.

The latest adult immunization schedule and recommendations approved by the ACIP are available in Annals of Internal Medicine. ACP and other professional organizations reviewed and approved the schedule. ACP’s I Raise the Rates Adult Immunization Resource Hub has links to useful resources and important information to help physicians increase adult immunization rates in their practice. ACP has also partnered with YouTube to create a series of videos addressing vaccine-related questions and countering vaccine misinformation.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.