Last year Georgia experienced one of the worst flu seasons in recent history. Don’t fall victim to the flu this year, vaccinate before it’s too late. National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is Dec. 2-8, and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) encourages all Georgians 6 months of age and older to get a yearly flu vaccine. The flu shot takes two weeks to provide protection, so take this time and schedule an appointment with your health care provider or your local public health department to get your flu vaccine.
“It’s important that Georgians understand the best way to protect against influenza is to receive an annual flu vaccine,” said Sheila Lovett, Immunization director for the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Because Georgia saw one of the highest spikes in influenza cases last year, it’s more important than ever to get yourself and your family vaccinated.”
What is new this flu season?
• Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating flu viruses
• Any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine is recommended
• The nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) is a vaccine option. Ask your health care provider about what vaccine is right for you
Influenza can be a serious disease that leads to hospitalization and sometimes death. Regardless of race, age, gender or ethnicity, anyone can get sick from the flu. Those especially at risk are adults 65 years of age and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other long-term medical conditions.
A flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu. With flu season beginning as early as August and sometimes lasting until May, it is never too late to vaccinate. The vaccine is available as an injection or a nasal spray. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved the use of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray” flu vaccine, as an option during the 2018-2019 flu season.
National Influenza Vaccination Week emphasizes the importance of receiving an annual flu vaccination. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu. This winter, the Georgia Department of Public Health encourages all Georgians to take a few minutes to call your doctor’s office, pharmacy or health department and make an appointment to get vaccinated.
For more information on immunization, visit: http://dph.georgia.gov/influenza-what-you-need-know.