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, February 12, 2016 posted on Feb 12
Rates of flu-like illness continued to climb over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. This is consistent with what we typically see at this point of flu season in years past. And if prior flu seasons are any indication, we can …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 12, 2016
Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier! posted on Feb 11
I used to think that Halloween through New Year’s was the hardest time of the year to stick to my goal of eating healthfully, considering leftover candy from trick or treating, Thanksgiving dinner, holiday parties and gatherings—the list goes on and on. By the time …Continue Reading Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier!
Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Feb 10
This month’s Public Health Council meeting featured a series of presentations and discussions on proposed amendments to regulations, followed by informational updates on select Department initiatives. First the Council received updates from the Department on the status of proposed amendments to regulations related to: Safety Requirement for …Continue Reading Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting