Asthma And Flu Shots
Adults with asthma are at high risk of developing complications after contracting the influenza virus, yet most adults with asthma do not receive an annual flu vaccination. Only one-third of all asthmatic adults and one-fifth of asthmatic adults younger than 50 years of age receive the flu vaccine annually.
When you have asthma, your airways are already somewhat inflamed and therefore more susceptible to infection. That means it is easier for you to catch the flu if you are exposed to it. Also, you are more likely to have a severe case of the flu, because your airways are already weakened. In fact, the flu can trigger a severe asthma attack. You also may have more serious complications, such as pneumonia. So, the flu is serious for someone who has asthma. Although most people recover in a week or two, 200,000 or more become sick enough to need hospital treatment. About 36,000 people in the U.S. each year die from the flu. Flu season runs between November and April, but the worst months are December, January and February.
Annual flu vaccination rates among people with asthma need to be increased. The flu vaccine is safe and effective. All people who have asthma should be encouraged to get the flu vaccination as part of their routine care.