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Have you had your flu shot yet?  Nearly half of those who should get vaccinated don’t get their flu shots, leading to thousands of hospitalizations every year. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the New England Revolution to remind you that while soccer season may be over, flu season is here.

The new campaign features a photo of a smiling Brad Knighton, Revolution goalkeeper, holding a soccer ball and sporting a Band-Aid over his flu shot. Photos were taken in the Revolution’s training facility in Foxboro at the close of their season. The message?  “A flu shot is your BEST DEFENSE against illness.”

The campaign launched this week with social media and will include posters and billboards over the next several weeks. The goal is to remind everyone that while winter weather has begun, it is not too late to get vaccinated.

Nationally, the vaccination message seems to be resonating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), early numbers show that more people have already gotten flu shots, with about 45 percent of children and adults getting their flu shot as of mid-November, almost 7 percent higher than this time last year.

Public health officials say that’s very good news.

“Flu season may not peak until February or even March, so there is still time to protect yourself by getting a flu shot,” said DPH’s Dr. Larry Madoff, Director of the DPH Division of Epidemiology and Immunization. “Vaccination for everyone over 6 months of age is critical to help protect your friends, your family and your community.”

Madoff says that flu vaccine is available across the state at multiple locations, including health care provider offices, pharmacies, school and workplace vaccination clinics, and flu vaccine clinics sponsored by local boards of health.  A list of flu vaccine availability based on zip code can be found at https://vaccinefinder.org/

For more information about influenza, visit www.mass.gov/flu. If you have questions, please call your health care provider, local board of health, or DPH at 617-983-6800.

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Brad Knighton had his flu shot this season and he joins DPH to remind you to get yours.

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Communications Director at the Department of Public Health

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