News release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:
Getting annual flu shot focus of National Influenza Vaccination Week
(December 10, 2013) – As part of National Influenza Vaccination Week, health officials are reminding residents that getting a flu shot is the best way to protect the ones you love this holiday season.
Flu is one of the most common respiratory illnesses in the United States, infecting millions of people ever year. Anyone can become infected, but it is particularly dangerous for the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and people with chronic health conditions who are more likely to become seriously ill or die from the flu or its complications.
There is no way to predict how severe the flu season might be. Since flu viruses are constantly changing and immunity can decline over time, health experts recommend that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine.
“National Influenza Vaccination Week is a great opportunity to remind people of how important it is to get the flu shot every year,” said Allen County Health Commissioner Deborah McMahan, MD. “Getting vaccinated is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against flu, but their loved ones.”
Getting the vaccine is also more convenient than ever before. Vaccines are available in a variety of locations, for example, from your doctor or retail pharmacy. There also more vaccine options available this year, including vaccines that protect against three strains of flu and vaccines that protect against four, a nasal spray variety, a high-dose variety for the elderly, and one that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle.
The Department of Health has the traditional flu shot for children and adults for $19. The Immunization Clinic is at 4813 New Haven Ave. The clinic’s hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (260) 449-7514 to make an appointment. Children under age 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian (with appropriate consent).
Super Shot Inc. also has flu vaccine for children and teens. Call (260) 424-7468 for time and locations.
For more information on preventing the flu, visit www.fighttheflu.org.
Flu prevention measures
- Get an annual flu shot. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated for influenza each year.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, rather than your hands, if a tissue is not available.
- Stay home from work or school and limit contact with others if you are ill. Try to avoid other people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.