Post Content

Donna Lazorik Posted by Donna Lazorik, RN, MS. Donna is the Immunization Coordinator in the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Don’t let the warm temperatures fool you – flu season will be here before you know it. The best way to protect against influenza is to get a flu vaccine before the season starts.  This is true even if you were vaccinated last season.  Health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine every year. 

That’s because flu can be very serious – every year in Massachusetts, an average of 5,000 residents are hospitalized due to complications from the flu, resulting in up to 800 deaths.  The good news is that many of these hospitalizations and deaths are preventable.  You and your family can stay healthy this season by getting vaccinated.

This is especially important if you or someone in your family: 

  • Is pregnant
  • Has a chronic health condition like asthma, diabetes, or heart, lung, liver, or kidney disease
  • Is immuno-suppressed
  • Is very overweight
  • Is 50 years of age or older.

Flu vaccination is also especially important for children younger than 5 years of age, who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu.  For the same reason, if you’re a caregiver or household contact of children less than five years old it’s important that you get vaccinated as well.  

The flu vaccine is safe and effective, and widely available. To get a flu vaccine, you can:  

  • Call your health care provider
  • Contact your local health department
  • Check with your local pharmacy 
  • Visit the Massachusetts Flu Clinic Finder for a list of flu clinics near you. 

Think you’ve got a clue when it comes to the flu? Take the Flu I.Q. quiz and find out!

For more information about influenza, flu vaccine, and other ways that you and your family can stay healthy this flu season, please visit www.mass.gov/flu or call the Immunization Program  at (617) 983-6800.

Written By:


health communication writer and editor

Recent Posts

Tracking the Latest Environmental Health Trends in MA posted on Jun 19

Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) is a program that brings together environmental health data to inform residents about health and the environment in their community and throughout the state. Our program, now 16 years old, has a wealth of environmental health information available and   …Continue Reading Tracking the Latest Environmental Health Trends in MA

Highlights of the June 13th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Jun 13

The June monthly meeting of the Public Health Council included a Determination of Need request, updates on the status of preliminary and final public health regulations, and an informational presentation from DPH staff. First, the Council took up a Determination of Need request from Massachusetts General   …Continue Reading Highlights of the June 13th Public Health Council Meeting

Picky Eating—Not Fun for Anyone! posted on Jun 13

Picky Eating—Not Fun for Anyone!

By Terri Mendoza & Raychel Adreani Does your child stick to a few favorite foods and refuse to try anything new?   Like many parents, you may be dealing with picky eating.  We know it can be frustrating and challenging, and you probably worry that your   …Continue Reading Picky Eating—Not Fun for Anyone!