Don’t Forget Your Flu Vaccine

This fall, remember to get your flu vaccine.   The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive an annual flu shot.  People should be vaccinated every year because immunity to flu viruses declines over time and flu strains often change from year to year.

Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County Health Commissioner, explained, “Getting your flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent getting the flu.” Dr. Gupta further emphasized that the flu vaccine is especially important for children and adults at high risk for complications from the flu or for those who have contact with people at high risk.  People at high risk include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than the age of five, but especially children younger than two years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those who are at high risk for complications including:

Health care workers
Household contacts of persons who are at high risk for complications
Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than six months of age. Children younger than six months are too young to be vaccinated

Children under the age of nine who have never had a flu vaccine before will need two doses of vaccine.   The second vaccine should be given one month after the first shot or FluMist®. If your child is under the age of nine, but has had two flu vaccines in the past, even if it was not in the same or consecutive years, only one dose is needed this year.

Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect your health as well as the health of your family, friends, and others.  Flu vaccine is available at the Onondaga County Health Department’s Immunization Clinic.  This clinic is held every Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Room 30 in the basement of the Civic Center. If you do not have a health care provider or health insurance, call the Onondaga County Health Department at 435-2000 for more information.