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. There is more vaccine available this year than ever before.
To find out where to get the flu vaccine:
- Call your health care provider;
- Contact your local health department;
- Check with your local pharmacy; or
- Visit the Massachusetts Flu Clinic website at www.mylocalclinic.com for a list of flu clinics near you.
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.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014