Over a third of Americans received flu by last year, which contributed to one of the deadliest flu season years.
Like millions of other Americans, JoJo O'Neal chose not to receive a flu vaccine last year.
"I was dead because of failure, and then I developed a flu. I have over 50 years of age and I have asthma, so it really took me away," said O'Neal, a 54-year-old radio personality from Orlando, Florida.
She also suffered from a flu on her sister, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
"It was really terrible not only for me with my asthma, but also for my sister, who has a chronic lung condition. She also transmitted a flu to her daughter," O & # 39; Nil said.
With flu-related deaths already reported this year, health officials remind people that the flu vaccine remains the best protection – not just for themselves, but for those around you.
"Even if you are young and healthy and you may be able to survive the flu, there is a risk of being transferred to a friend, family member or other loved one, who may not tolerate flu," said Dr. MeiLan Han, professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health System and director of the Michigan Airvais program.
Nicola Basta, an assistant professor at the public health school at the University of Minnesota, says higher rates of vaccination protect people who get flu and those around them.
"When everyone is vaccinated, we increase our own immunity and reduce our own risk of flu," said Basta. "But equally important, we reduce the risk for our families, friends and our communities by blocking the spread of the flu."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that most Americans receive a yearly flu vaccine for 6 months or more.
CDC data show that 37.1 percent of American adults have been vaccinated in the last season of the flu. This is 6.2 percent less than the previous season and less than the previous seven seasons.
This reduction has contributed to one of the deadliest flu season in decades.
The CDC estimates that the flu has killed more than 79,000 Americans during the flu season 2017-18, 959,000 hospitalized and 48.8 million infected.
Nineteen deaths and 70% of hospitalization were reported in people over 65 years of age.
But even younger adults are affected. "There are estimated 10,300 deaths among working-age adults (ages 18 to 64), an age group that often has low flu vaccination," the CDC said.
Health officials also reported 183 deaths among children, although the CDC estimates that the actual number of deaths was more than 600.
The CDC estimates that 80% of children were killed among unvaccinated children.
Several groups have a greater risk of flu-related complications: children under the age of 5, adults over 65, pregnant women, US Indians and Alaska.
Chronic medical conditions also put people at risk, including lung disease, heart disease, diabetes and a weakened immune system.
Millions of people have these conditions, including a percentage of 2.7 percent of adults with compromised immune systems due to HIV, the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and the use of immunological suppressive drugs after organ transplantation.
"These are the people who can eventually be hospitalized," Han said. "We already had the death of a young child this year."
The child died in Florida during the first week of October. They did not receive flu vaccination, according to the state health department.
Many misconceptions about the flu vaccine are lagging behind.
One is that the flu vaccine can bring you flu. Can not.
"You may have a few days after you get a flu when you may not feel 100 percent," Han said. "But really nothing is compared to the seriousness of a flu-like illness."
The other is related to vaccine efficacy.
The influenza vaccine is carried out every year on the basis of scientists' predictions that sow flu viruses are the most problematic in the United States.
Last season, the influenza vaccine showed that only 40 percent was effective.
"The flu vaccine is not perfect," Basta said. "But it turned out to be one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the flu, but it's far better than nothing."
The influenza vaccine is available in doctors' offices, health clinics and some pharmacies and other stores. VaccineFinder.org offers a search on a vaccine database.
The "GetMiShot" campaign of the American Lung Association, which Han and O'Neal both speak, have resources for people aged 50 and over because of the risk of influenza and the importance of vaccination.
Han points out that some vaccines are better for older people. If you have any questions about which flu vaccine is right for you, contact your health care provider.
And think of those around you.
"I encourage people, even if they do not necessarily need to get a flu, to do it for others, to do it for those they like and those in their circle," O'Neill said.