Flu and Chronic Health Conditions

Influenza (flu) is a contagious and potentially deadly virus that can result in serious complications for individuals living with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, even when chronic conditions are well-controlled. It has been estimated that 31 percent of US adults age 50-64 years and 47 percent of those age 65 and older have at least one chronic health condition that puts them at high risk for flu-related complications, including hospitalization, catastrophic disability, and even death.

There is an urgent need to raise awareness of the burden of flu in adults with chronic health conditions. Healthcare professionals (HCPs) play a key role in communicating the known benefits of flu vaccine in mitigating the risks of flu and reducing severe flu-related outcomes in patients with chronic health conditions. Additionally, HCPs must be prepared to recognize and address barriers to vaccination, including lack of consumer confidence in vaccine efficacy and misperceptions about the impact of flu, and should insist upon annual flu vaccination—particularly for patients with known chronic health conditions and for those who may have an undiagnosed chronic health condition or are likely to spread flu to others.

NFID has developed the following resources designed to help HCPs talk to patients with chronic health conditions about the importance of annual flu vaccination.

      Download NFID Call to Action: The Dangers of Influenza and Benefits of Vaccination in Adults with Chronic Health Conditions 
      Download Infographic
     View Archived Webinar: Protecting Adults with Chronic Health Conditions against Influenza