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What's the Latest with the Flu for Early Care and Education Providers

October 2020

​According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year millions of children get sick with seasonal flu, thousands of children are hospitalized, and some children die from flu. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the CDC recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine every year.

2020-21 Influenza Season & COVID-19

Influenza (flu) season usually begins in October and can continue through May. The 2020-21 flu season will coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is more important than ever to provide families with guidance on protecting their children and families. (See the AAP Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2020-2021.)

Flu vaccines protect against the 4 flu viruses that research suggests will be most common in the US this flu season. It is good to be protected before flu activity begins, so be sure to encourage everyone to get vaccinated before Halloween. Children younger than 5 years, especially those younger than 2 years, and children with certain medical conditions, are at increased risk of hospitalization and complications from the flu. It is very important that they receive the flu vaccine now.

Child Care During COVID-19

Updated AAP Guidance Related to Child Care During COVID-19 includes useful information for Head Start and early childhood education providers, including general preparedness, infection control, and special populations. Listed below is a small sample of the many resources included in this guidance:

Is it Flu or is it COVID-19?

Child care providers and parents alike will have lots of questions about the flu, COVID-19, and how to tell the symptoms apart. The infographic below is accompanied by information in English and Spanish to answer the question, How is the Flu Different From COVID-19?

What You Can Do to Prevent the Flu


This message is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $200,000 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.