VALDOSTA – The Georgia DPH recognizes National Influenza Vaccination Week with a reminder to everyone on the importance of flu vaccines.
The holiday season is here. That means more time to spend with your children, family, and friends. However, as holiday cheer spreads, so can flu, with potentially serious complications. Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to stay protected against flu.
Each year in December the Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District recognizes National Influenza Vaccination Week. This year, NIVW is recognized December 5-9.
“Flu vaccines are safe and effective and there’s still time to get vaccinated,” said District Health Director William R. Grow, MD, FACP. “Everyone 6 months and older should receive their flu vaccine each year. Vaccination protects not only you, but those you love as well.”
This flu season, public health wants to remind everyone that vaccinations against the flu are especially important for children. Each year, millions of children get sick with seasonal flu, thousands of children are hospitalized, and some even die from flu.
Children younger than 5 years old – especially those younger than 2 – and children of any age with certain chronic health conditions, like asthma and diabetes, are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Because these children are at higher risk, it is especially important that they get a seasonal flu vaccine to help prevent flu, and to reduce their risk of being hospitalized or dying from flu if they get sick.
Parents can help children fight flu with flu vaccines for the whole family each year.
Getting vaccinated against flu also protects your other loved ones, like adults 65 years and older and people living with certain chronic conditions who are at increased risk of suffering from serious flu complications. These groups also face a higher risk of hospitalization if they get sick with flu.
A flu vaccine can protect everyone as communities gather to celebrate the holiday season.
Every year, flu vaccines are updated to better match the four flu viruses that research indicates will circulate during the season.
While it is ideal to get a flu vaccine before flu starts spreading in your community (usually in October each year), getting vaccinated later is beneficial anytime flu viruses are circulating. Getting vaccinated now can still provide protection against flu because flu activity is still elevated, and activity most commonly peaks in February, and significant flu activity can continue into May.
Visit your local health department or doctor’s office to get your flu vaccine and encourage your loved ones to get their flu vaccine.
To learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated against flu visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu.