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.
Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County Health Commissioner, 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 children and adults at high risk for complications from the flu or for those who are caregivers for people at high risk such as:
- Children 6 months through 59 months of age
- People 50 years of age and older
- Pregnant women
- 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
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- American Indians / Alaska Natives
- Persons who are extremely obese (BMI ≥ 40)
- 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 ≤ 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
This year, the nasal spray Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (also known as FluMist®), will once again be available. 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 healthcare 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.