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Still time to get flu vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control established National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

NIVW 2017 is scheduled for Dece. 3-9.

NIVW Timing

Flu vaccination coverage estimates from past seasons have shown that few people get vaccinated against influenza after the end of November.

Last season only about 40 percent of the U.S. population recommended to get a flu vaccine reported having been vaccinated by the end of November.

CDC and its partners choose December for NIVW to remind people that even though the holiday season has begun, it is not too late to get a flu vaccine.

As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible against the flu.

Even if you haven’t yet been vaccinated and have already gotten sick with flu, you can still benefit from vaccination since the flu vaccine protects against three or four different flu viruses (depending on which flu vaccine you get).

Flu Vaccination

for People at High Risk

Another goal of NIVW is to communicate the importance of flu vaccination for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications.

People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people 65 years and older.

For people at high risk, getting the flu can be more serious than for other people. Flu is more likely to lead to hospitalization or death for people at high risk.

Flu vaccine uptake estimates among adults 50 years and older fell by 3 percentage points last year. That means many more adults were left vulnerable to flu and its complications.

Anyone who gets flu can pass it to someone at high risk of severe illness, including infants younger than 6 months who are too young to get the vaccine.

Most people who get the flu will have mild illness, will not need medical care or antiviral drugs, and will recover in less than two weeks. Some people, however, are more likely to get flu complications that can result in hospitalization and sometimes death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications.

The flu also can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience a worsening of this condition triggered by flu.

An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease.

— Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, missed work and school because of flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

— Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.

— Getting vaccinated protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions.

To schedule a flu shot, call the Clark County Health Department at 744-4482.

Clark County Health Department supports families through a variety of programming and services including Nutrition Therapy, family planning, immunizations, WIC, HANDS, community education events and Cooper Clayton smoking cessation. For more information, call 744-4482 or visit www.clarkhealthdept.org.