It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate

Categories:
Families, Health Care

Photo of sick child.As you know the nation is in the grips of an early flu season, with elevated activity nationwide.  One of your best protections against the flu is to get the flu vaccine.  However, while many have received the vaccine this year, many have not.  Please bear in mind that the vaccine not only protects you, it also protects your loved ones and others around you.  So for those of you who are asking, “Is it too late?” The answer is “No, It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone aged six months and older should get a flu shot in order to decrease their risk of getting sick.  You may need to call around to find the vaccine, since some vaccine providers may have exhausted their supplies, while others may have remaining supplies of vaccine.  However, it is worth the investment of time to do so.  Here is a helpful tool - the Flu Vaccine Finder.

What else can you do to protect yourself and others from the flu? These steps can lower your risk:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

The flu is a serious illness and the season is likely to continue for several more weeks, so it’s important to take continued precautions.  Learn more at Flu.gov.

Dr. George L. Askew serves as the first chief medical officer for the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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