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 vaccine. Everyone should be vaccinated yearly because immunity to flu viruses declines over time and circulating flu strains often change from year to year.
Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Dr. Indu Gupta, explained, “Everyone should get the flu vaccine to protect themselves, their family, and their community.” Dr. Gupta further emphasized that the flu vaccine is especially important for those at high risk for complications from severe flu such as:
- Children 6 months through 59 months of age
- People 50 years of age and older
- Women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season
- People of any age with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes
- People who have a weakened immune system due to any cause
- Children and adolescents (aged 6 months through 18 years) who are receiving aspirin-or salicylate-containing medications
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- American Indians / Alaska Natives
- Persons who are extremely obese (BMI ≥ 40)
- Those who live with or care for those who are at high risk for complications including:
- Health care workers
- Household contacts of persons who are ≤ 5 years of age and adults ≥ 50 years of age
- Household contacts and caregivers of persons with a medical condition that put them at high risk for complications
In addition to getting vaccinated, staying home when you are sick, good hand hygiene, and practicing cough etiquette throughout the season will reduce your chance of getting or spreading the flu. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist to ask about getting flu vaccine today!
If you do not have health insurance and are looking for a flu vaccine, call the Onondaga County Health Department at 315.435.2000. To learn more about the flu, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/.