Last year we experienced an early and severe respiratory virus season with very high levels of seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections across the United States. We also saw the highest number of pediatric deaths associated with influenza since the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, influenza vaccination rates decreased over 15% among pregnant individuals, eroding years of progress towards increasing vaccination rates in this population. Ensuring that patients receive routine vaccinations, including an annual influenza vaccine, is imperative to keeping communities healthy. As such, it is critical that all patients, especially those who are pregnant, receive an influenza vaccine this fall. Remember, your strong recommendation and offer of vaccination are key factors in whether your patients get vaccinated.

ACOG's immunization department and leadership has distributed a letter to the members of the ACOG Council of District chairs to encourage and remind members to protect themselves and their patients against influenza. Read the full letter and access talking points members can use to assist them in communicating the importance of influenza vaccination below.

2023–24 Sample Messages

This flu season, ACOG encourages you to lead by example by educating and vaccinating yourself, your staff, and your patients against influenza. Use the following sample messages to share the importance of getting vaccinated.

Strategies 2023–24 Sample Messages

Addressing patient’s questions and concerns in the context of influenza and COVID-19 vaccination viruses in plain and understandable language.

  • Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses and are caused by different viruses. There are different vaccines for flu and COVID-19.
  • Getting a flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19 however, it will provide other benefits like lowering the risk of flu-related illness and hospitalizations.
  • You can receive a flu and COVID-19 vaccine in the same visit.

Educate all patients, including pregnant patients, about the safety and benefits of vaccination and the severity of influenza.

  • The flu vaccine is especially important for pregnant patients. Pregnant patients can be at higher risk of getting very sick from the flu.
  • The flu shot helps protect you and your baby from flu illness for several months after their birth, before they are old enough to be vaccinated.
  • You cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Flu vaccines have been shown to be very safe.

Strongly recommend and offer flu shots to all patients, particularly pregnant patients as the vaccine becomes available.

  • I strongly recommend you get a flu shot while you are in the office today. Getting the flu shot today will help protect you against the flu and help you avoid making an extra visit to this or another health care facility in the future. Getting vaccinated will also protect your baby for several months after birth, until they can get their own flu vaccine.

Encourage flu vaccine administration before flu activity begins in your community, ideally before the end of October.

  • The best time to get a flu vaccine is before the end of October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating you can get vaccinated.

Inform your patients that flu vaccine reduces the burden of illness on our communities and can reduce the burden on the health care system.

  • The flu vaccine may also help you avoid unnecessary doctor-appointments. This helps limit your risk of exposure to respiratory germs and may also protect people around you.

Inform your patients that flu and COVID-19 vaccines reduce the burden of illness on our communities and also reduce the burden on the health care system.

  • The flu and COVID-19 vaccines may also help you avoid unnecessary doctor appointments. This helps limit your risk of exposure to respiratory germs and may also protect people around you.


2023–24 Influenza Resources

To help you take these steps, ACOG and CDC have a multitude of resources on influenza and influenza vaccination.

ACOG Clinical Resources

ACOG Patient Resources

CDC Resources