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.  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.

Written By:


health communication writer and editor

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, April 24, 2015 posted on Apr 24

The latest weekly flu report shows a very slight increase in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts since last week’s report. You can view it here.

Celebrate National Infant Immunization Week! posted on Apr 20

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. This year, NIIW is April 18-25, 2015. The Department of   …Continue Reading Celebrate National Infant Immunization Week!

Weekly Flu Report, April 17, 2015 posted on Apr 17

The latest weekly flu report indicates that rates of flu-like illness declined during the past seven days. This is in keeping with how flu season tends to wind down in New England at this time of year. You can help stop the spread of illness   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 17, 2015