MAYVILLE, N.Y.: – National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 4-10, 2016 and the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services reminds everyone that it is not too late to get vaccinated. With flu activity increasing and family and friends planning gatherings for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you have not gotten vaccinated yet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season.
While seasonal flu activity varies, flu activity usually peaks between December and February, though activity can last as late as May. As long as flu activity is ongoing, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease. Even if you have already been sick with flu this season, it is still a good idea to get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccine protects against three or four different strains of the flu virus.
Every year, flu spreads across the country, from person to person, family to family, and community to community. The severity of flu illness can vary from mild to severe. When severe, flu complications can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu.
“One of the greatest challenges we face from the flu is the uncertainty of the disease,” said Christine Schuyler, County Health and Human Services Commissioner. “Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each flu season, different flu viruses can spread, and they can affect people differently based on their body’s ability to fight infection.”
Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before. Vaccines are available, for example, from your doctor or local health department, and at many retail pharmacies. Many employers, schools, colleges and universities also offer flu vaccines. Moreover, the annual vaccine supply continues to grow, helping to ensure that enough vaccine is available for everyone who wishes to be vaccinated. So when you’re out and about in your community and see signs offering flu shots, or when you visit your doctor for a routine check-up, remember: the flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent the flu.
For more information about influenza or the flu vaccine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional, and visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu. You can also call the Chautauqua County DHHS, Public Health Division at 1(866) 604-6789 for more information.