Flu Season Isn’t Over Yet

Sunday, February 20th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Today is evidence that winter is still here, but warming weather gives people the impression that there are no longer concerns about it still being Flu Season.

“Flu season typically peaks in January or February and can last as late as April or May,” says Dr. Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service and Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated now.”

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. It’s available in two forms: a shot and a nasal spray. While the flu shot can be given to just about everyone, the nasal spray is approved only for use in healthy people ages 2 to 49 years and who aren’t pregnant.
Anyone can get the flu, but some people are at greater risk for serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia, that can lead to hospitalization and even death. For those at greater risk for complications, getting the flu vaccine is especially important. People at greater risk include:

• Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old
• Pregnant women
• People with certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes (type 1 and 2), or heart and lung disease
• People 65 years and older

It’s also important to get the vaccine if you care for anyone in one or more of these high risk groups, or for babies younger than 6 months because they are too young to get the vaccine.

Many children need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected. If a child has not received his/her first dose, get them vaccinated now. For those who have been vaccinated with one dose, parents should check with the child’s doctor to see if a second dose is needed.

You can get your flu vaccine at many different places: doctor, clinics, pharmacies, and more.  Visit www.flu.gov and use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find the nearest location where you and your family can get vaccinated.

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