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.
Super Bowl Picnic! posted on Jan 26
Our much-beloved New England Patriots are contending for the Super Bowl this Sunday! And the big questions are…who will you watch the game with? What will the best commercial be? And, let’s face it—what goodies are we going to eat? Back in the days before …Continue Reading Super Bowl Picnic!
Weekly Flu Report, January 23, 2015 posted on Jan 23
The latest weekly flu report shows an increase in rates of flu-like illness during the past seven days. Flu season is certainly here in New England – but there are some simple, common-sense steps that you can take to keep from getting or spreading the …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 23, 2015
Weekly Flu Report, January 16, 2015 posted on Jan 16
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decline in rates of flu-like illness over the past seven days. But flu is unpredictable, and we know from past years that flu season won’t likely peak in Massachusetts until February or March – so there’s still …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 16, 2015