Dec. 2 to Dec. 8 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and the Washington State Department of Health is reminding residents about the importance of getting an annual flu shot to protect yourself before the holidays arrive.
National Influenza Vaccination Week is observed each year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to raise awareness of the health benefits of flu shots and urge people to get vaccinated in December, January and even later, according to the CDC website. Flu season can last as late as May.
CDC says there is an ample supply of flu vaccine this season throughout the United States. It recommends annual flu shots for everyone 6 months and older.
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. Anyone can get sick from the flu and spread the virus to others, the release states. Over the years, hundreds of millions of people in the United States have safely received seasonal flu vaccines.
The state health department says those at high risk of serious flu complications include elderlies, young kids (under age 5), pregnant women, American Indians/Alaska Natives and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease.
It’s also important to get the vaccine if you care for anyone in one or more of those high risk groups, or for babies younger than 6 months because they are too young to get the vaccine.
Washingtonians also are reminded that good health habits often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.
A good way to prevent the spread of germs and to prevent influenza is to follow the “Three C’s”:
- Clean your hands — after using the restroom and before eating
- Cover your cough — by coughing or sneezing into your elbow or into a tissue
- Contain your germs — by staying home if you are feeling sick
According to King County Public Health, vaccinations are available at many Shoreline and LFP pharmacies and at your personal physician’s office.
- Your primary care provider
- Bartell Drugs
- Fred Meyer
- Rite Aid
For more information about the flu, visit the State Health Department website.