This holiday season, make sure your gift list includes one more thing for yourself and those around you: good health.
Respiratory illnesses such as flu and COVID-19 continue to circulate and the best protection you can give yourself ahead of gathering with friends and relatives is the flu or COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone 6 months and older can be vaccinated for these two viruses.
The flu vaccine is particularly important for pregnant women and vaccines for respiratory illnesses help protect people who are at higher risk for becoming severely ill.
In Virginia, the flu season arrived early and has been severe with very high activity reported during the week ending December 3.
Find a vaccine near you at vaccines.gov or vaccinate.virginia.gov. To learn what vaccines are available for COVID-19 and who is eligible, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Response page.
In addition to vaccines, the following healthy habits can help protect you from respiratory illnesses:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Stay away from people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick
If you test positive for COVID-19, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider and seek treatment, especially if you are at greater risk for severe illness. Treatment is often most effective when taken within a few days.
If you need a copy of your COVID-19 vaccine record, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Record Request Portal.