National Influenza Vaccination Week is a great time to make sure that you have had your flu shot this year and encourage your friends and family to get theirs. Getting a flu shot every year is the single best way to prevent the flu. It not only protects your health; it protects the health of those around you. Everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu shot.
Even if you got a flu shot last year, it’s still important to get one this year. The flu vaccine is updated every year to provide protection from the flu viruses that are likely to be circulating and causing disease. Also, your body’s level of immunity from a vaccine received last year will have declined.
You can find out where to get a flu shot in your area by
- Contacting your local health department
- Talking to your healthcare provider, or
- Using the vaccine locator to find a flu clinic near you.
Be familiar with the symptoms of flu and the people most at risk from flu complications, including young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions. If you fall into one of those groups, make sure you get vaccinated promptly, and treated promptly if you do get the flu.
There are also simple steps you can take to help prevent the spread of flu:
- Always cover your cough and sneeze into your elbow
- Wash your hands
- Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that get touched a lot, such as door handles, countertops, and faucets.
- If you feel sick, stay home from work or school