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Donna Lazorik Pic 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.

The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and best way to protect against the flu. But there is a special message for people with heart disease. If you have an underlying heart condition such as coronary artery disease, heart failure or vascular disease you are at greater risk of severe illness if you get the flu, so it’s especially important that you be protected this and every season by getting vaccinated. It is recommended that people with chronic conditions receive the flu shot and not the nasal spray.

Those that live with or care for you should also get vaccinated against the flu. Not only will they be protecting themselves, they’ll also be helping to protect you from the flu, flu-related complications, and an increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or the possible worsening of heart failure symptoms.

Call your health care provider to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated or search for a public flu clinic online at http://www.mylocalclinic.com. For more information visit www.mass.gov/flu

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