Influenza is a viral illness that occurs internationally and peaks in prevalence during the months of October to May. There are several types of influenza viruses: Influenza A, B, C, and D (CDC, 2023). Vaccines are available in the United States as early as the start of the flu season to those who wish to receive it. The influenza virus types covered by the annual flu vaccine include Influenzas A and B types (CDC, 2023). The influenza vaccine is recommended by the CDC with the intent to limit the occurrence and spread of influenza each year. Symptoms of influenza consist of fever, malaise, cough, nasal congestion, fatigue, and in some individuals can lead to respiratory compromise. Despite the availability of the flu vaccine, year after year many adults either become ill, are hospitalized, or die from the flu virus. As a healthcare provider, every flu season I hear remarks such as “The flu vaccine made me sick,” or “That vaccine doesn’t work!” Hearing these statements year after year has prompted me to investigate how many adults actually receive the vaccine each year and if proper education in regard to this topic can improve adherence rates. During the 2018- 2019 flu season, more than half of Americans did not receive the annual flu vaccine (Block, 2019). This is an alarming statistic given that it is a CDC recommended vaccine and still majority of Americans did not opt to receive it. There are many Americans suffering from influenza related complications each year possibly because of their choice or inability to get vaccinated to prevent these complications. During the 2019-2020 flu season there were an estimated 56,000,000 flu illnesses, 26,000,000 flu related medical visits, 740,000 flu related hospitalizations, & 62,000 flu related deaths (CDC, 2020a or b). Therefore, it is recommended that all of those eligible to receive influenza vaccination each year receive the proper education necessary to make a more informed decision to receiving vaccination.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Family Nurse Practitioner
Lawson, Jazzlyn, "The Effects of Education on Influenza Vaccination Uptake" (2023). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 303.