Flu season has arrived. As family and friends are gathering for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones. In the United States, cases of the flu are usually highest between December and February, but flu season can last until May. This week during National Influenza Vaccination Week the Onondaga County Health Department urges you to protect yourself and your family by making sure everyone is vaccinated against the flu.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is impossible to predict how severe you will be affected by the flu. The best protection is to get a flu vaccine every year. A vaccine is needed every year because the flu viruses are always changing, and the vaccine is changed every year to match the circulating flu viruses. In addition, protection from the flu vaccine declines over time, making a flu shot necessary every year.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. The flu shot is especially important for those at high risk of serious illness due to the flu, including young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people aged 65 and older.
No insurance? The Onondaga County Health Department Immunization Clinic has flu shots available free for Onondaga County residents aged 6 months and up. The clinic is held every Wednesday from 9:00am – 12 Noon in the John H. Mulroy Civic Center, Room 30. This is a walk-in clinic, no appointments are necessary. For more information on the flu or where you can get a flu shot, ask your health care provider or call 435-2000.