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American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) are at high risk for flu complications


American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) are at high risk for flu complications (Text Version)

A yearly flu vaccine protects yourself and others around you

[Illustration of the outline of a graphic of a pair of lungs and two clipboard with text on them]

Flu is a leading cause of pneumonia

Flu and pneumonia rank among the top 10 causes of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives

American Indians and Alaska Natives are more likely to die from pneumonia and flu than other races.1

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Across the U.S., the flu causes more than 200 000 hospitalizations each year.

American Indians and Alaska Natives are at higher risk than others for:

  • Pneumonia and bronchitis
  • Hospitalization
  • Death

The flu poses a greater risk to:

  • Young children and elders
  • Pregnant women
  • People with diabetes, extreme obesity, heart disease, or asthma and other lung problems

[Illustration of the outline of a flu germ]

Flu symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Fever*
  • Body aches or headaches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat

*You can still have the flu and be contagious without a fever

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Benefits of Flu Vaccination

During the 2014-15 season, flu vaccination prevented2 an estimated:

  • 1.9 million influenza-associated illnesses—greater than the population of the city of Philadelphia.
  • 966 000 flu-associated medical visits—as many people as can fit in Manhattan’s Time Square
  • 67 000 flu hospitalizations—as many people as Seattle’s Seahawk stadium can seat

[Illustration of a Native American family (mother, father, child, and grandmother) with flu vaccine bandages on their upper arm. Hands under a sink faucet covered in soap suds, a male coughing into his elbow, a medical prescription form]

Take 3 Steps to Fight the Flu:

  1. Get a flu vaccine each year for everyone 6 months of age and older
  2. Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs
    • Wash your hands often
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  3. Take antiviral medicine if prescribed

[Illustration of vials of flu vaccines]

Get a Flu vaccine at:

  • Indian Health Service, tribal, or urban health clinics and doctor’s offices
  • Pharmacies or grocery stores
  • Community health fairs

Ask your Community Health Representative or Community Health Aide for more information!

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Protect yourself. Protect your community.

Get vaccinated. Protect the circle of life.

1 Groom, A, et al. Pneumonia and influenza Mortality among American Indian and Alaska Native People, 1990-2009. Am J Public Health. 2014 June; 104. Supplement 3: S460–S469. Published online April 2014. Accessed 1/27/15:

2 Accessed 12/10/2015:

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