About the Influenza Vaccine
The main purpose of seasonal influenza vaccination is to avoid severe disease from infection with influenza virus. Currently, 39 countries and territories in the Americas offer influenza vaccination to nationally-defined high-risk groups.
PAHO's Technical Advisory Group on Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (TAG) recommends that the following groups of individuals may be targeted for vaccination in order to reduce the incidence of severe illness and premature death: pregnant women, children between 6 months to 5 years, elderly individuals, individuals with chronic medical conditions, and healthcare workers.
Seasonal influenza is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat and a runny nose. The cough can be severe and can last 2 or more weeks. Most people recover from fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention. But influenza can cause severe illness or death especially in people at high risk.