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Women Veterans Health Care

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Health Outreach Campaigns: Flu

Women Veterans Health Care has created materials to expand awareness of and promote flu shots.

Thumbnail of flu prevention poster: Protect yourself and your family. Get your flu shot.

Flu Shot Awareness Poster
(249 KB, PDF)
Number: IB 10-311SM
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11"

Flu Shot Awareness Poster
(3.23 MB, PDF)
Number: IB 10-311LG
Dimensions: 11" x 17"


Statistics and Vaccination

Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by flu viruses such as seasonal or H1N1 flu. Flu occurs each year and spreads easily from one person to another. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),* on average, 226,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from seasonal flu complications annually in the United States. Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. This year, one shot protects against seasonal and H1N1flu.

While flu vaccination is recommended for everyone six months or older, flu shots are especially important for people at high risk, including pregnant women, young children, people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older. This year, a high-dose flu vaccine is available for the 65+ age group.

Flu Shots and Pregnancy

Pregnant women,* in particular, should get the flu shot in the interest of their own health and the health of their unborn child. Pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and become severely ill from influenza when compared to women who are not pregnant. In addition, studies have shown that babies who are born to mothers who had a flu shot in pregnancy get sick with the flu less often in the first six months than babies whose mothers do not get a flu shot while pregnant. While the flu shot is safe for pregnant women in any trimester, the nasal spray vaccination is NOT safe for pregnant women. Postpartum women can receive either flu vaccine, even if breastfeeding.

Vaccination is also important for health care workers, as well as those who live with or care for those who are at high risk.

The Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group wants to remind women that taking the time to get your own flu shot is as important as taking the time to get flu shots for your children and family.

Prevention Tips and Resources

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching nose, mouth, or eyes; wash hands before touching your face.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve if no tissue is available.
  • Throw away used tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay away from sick people, or if you are sick, stay home.

Find free tools and materials for download from the VA and CDC* Web sites.
Get the latest news and information from the Federal flu Web site.*

Contact your nearest VA health care facility to learn more about vaccine availability.

About Women Veterans

Women are now the fastest growing subgroup of U.S. Veterans. The number of women Veterans is expected to increase dramatically in the next 10 years, and VA health care is in high demand by the women Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Department of Veterans Affairs understands the health care needs of women Veterans and is committed to meeting these needs. Women Veterans served and they deserve the best quality care. Learn more about VA health care services for women Veterans.


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*By clicking on these links, you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site.