As 2016 comes to a close, NFID would like to wish all readers a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year, we are pleased to share this recap of the top 10 most read blog posts in 2016…

Special thanks to Vaccinate Your Family for co-sponsoring the Flu Facebook Forum during National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), as well as those who took time to ask flu-related questions and the NFID experts (William Schaffner, MD; Walter A. Orenstein, MD; Patricia A. Stinchfield, RN, MS, CPNP, CIC; Lisa S. Ipp, MD; and Kathleen M. Neuzil, MD, MPH) who provided detailed responses.

CDC estimates that flu vaccine prevented nearly 744,000 illnesses, 320,000 doctor’s visits, and about 8,000 hospitalizations among people age 50 years to 64 years last season. But, if just 5 percent more people in the 50 to 64 age group had been vaccinated last season, CDC estimates that an additional 82,000 illnesses and 900 hospitalizations could have been prevented.

It seems not everyone has gotten the message about influenza vaccines, so once again: everyone age six months and older needs an annual influenza vaccine. We have more than enough vaccine supply and many types of influenza vaccines available. There is at least one, and usually multiple options, available for every one of us. Vaccination is the key to influenza prevention for everyone.

We need to strongly recommend vaccination for all patients. If you don’t give patients the option for other necessary medical interventions, such as taking needed insulin, why do you give them an option with a vaccine?

Nurses make up the largest segment of healthcare professionals in the US. With more than 3 million registered nurses nationwide, we have an unrivaled ability to reach patients, families, and fellow healthcare professionals with important health messages.

Flu easily spreads among students, including those in college. Students are constantly exposed to other students (and their germs/infections) in class. When students get the flu, it is nothing to take lightly. On average, college students with the flu experience 8 days or more of illness — potentially impacting days in the classroom and academic performance.