With flu activity increasing and family and friends planning gatherings for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you have not gotten vaccinated yet. A flu vaccine can protect you and your loved ones. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. This season, CDC recommends only flu shots (not the nasal spray vaccine).
While seasonal flu activity varies, flu activity usually peaks between December and February, though activity can last as late as May. As long as flu activity is ongoing, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease. Even if you have already gotten sick with flu this season, it is still a good idea to get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines protects against three or four different flu viruses (depending on which flu vaccine you get).
December 4-10, 2016 is this year’s National Influenza Vaccination Week (or NIVW). CDC Established NIVW in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. A goal of NIVW is to remind people that even though the holiday season has arrived, it’s not too late to get their flu vaccine.
As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible against the flu. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. CDC recommends only flu shots this season. If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to get a flu shot!
Health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties offer the regular flu shot for $29 and a high dose flu shot – made especially for those 65 and older – for $50. No appointment is needed for flu shots at health departments.
Save time when going to get your flu shot by filling out the consent form ahead of time and bringing it with you to the health department:
General Vaccine Consent Form
General Flu Vaccine Consent Form (Spanish)
Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the flu. Every flu season is different and we never know how bad a flu season is going to be or how long it’s going to last which is why it is so important to get the flu vaccine every year. Some things to know about this year’s flu season:
- The vaccine has been updated for the 2016-2017 flu season so it should be a better match for flu viruses.
- Only the flu shot is recommended this year because there are questions about the effectiveness of the nasal spray form of the vaccine.
- Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it also protects people around you – like babies, older people, and people with chronic health conditions – who may be at risk from getting seriously ill from the flu.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older receive a yearly flu vaccine.
- People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease and people 65 years of age and older.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the immune system to fully respond to the vaccine and provide the body protection. While getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, there are other things we can all do every day to prevent getting or spreading the flu viruses and other viruses:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- Try to cough or sneeze into the corner of your elbow and not your hand or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
Don’t let the flu get the best of you. Protect yourself and your loved ones from flu by getting vaccinated early.