It’s never too late to get the flu shot. With the flu activity widespread in most of the United Sates, Davis County Public Health is encouraging individuals (six months of age and older) to still get the annual flu vaccine if they haven’t yet.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is projecting that flu season could extend out until May this year, as it hasn’t peaked yet,” stated Lynn Fellinger, Davis County Public Health Manager. “Even if someone has been sick with the flu this year, and hasn’t gotten their flu shot yet, we still highly encourage them to get the flu vaccination as it protects against many types of flu, and many strains are still circulating.”
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated against the flu every year. Flu vaccines are important for everyone, especially for people who are at greater risk for complications and those who live with or care for these individuals. These groups are:
• Pregnant women
• Children younger than 5 years of age
• Adults 65 years of age and older
• People whose immune system is weakened and those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or conditions affecting the nervous system
• People who are overweight or obese
• People who work or live in nursing homes or long- term care facilities
• Health care personnel and child care workers
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
“Getting yourself vaccinated also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions,” said Fellinger.
“While the flu shot has been proven to be less effective at totally preventing the flu this year, it still could lessen the severity of the illness,” commented Sue Pankey, Chief Nursing Officer at DCH. “According to the CDC, the flu vaccination may make your illness milder if you do get sick. For example, a 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients.”
Davis County Public Health has flu vaccines available, and is available by appointment Monday – Friday. To schedule a time to receive your flu shot, please call 641-664-3629.