DOVER — With flu activity increasing and family and friends planning gatherings for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you have not yet done so. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect you and your loved ones, against the effects of this virus. People of every age, including people in good health, are at risk of flu. That’s why the Division of Public Health (DPH) encourages everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu vaccine every season.
December 4 -10, 2016 is National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the NIVW in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination activities through the holiday season and beyond. The goal of NIVW is to remind people that even though the holiday season has arrived, it’s not too late to get their flu vaccine.
“Flu activity is usually highest between December and February, so as long as flu activity is ongoing, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Immunization activities should continue throughout the flu season in order to ensure as many people as possible are vaccinated.
Currently there are 21 confirmed cases of the flu in Delaware. Fourteen are in New Castle County, five are in Kent County and two are in Sussex County.
Getting immunized against the flu is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your community. Flu vaccine has been readily available from various outlets including physician offices, pharmacies, and public health clinics. Depending on the vaccine type, flu vaccines protect against three or four different flu viruses determined by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) to most likely circulate in the area at this time of the year.
Finding a nearby flu clinic or vaccination site is easier than ever before. Google “CDC flu finder,” enter your ZIP code, and find nearby sites offering vaccinations.
DPH encourages Delawareans to discuss vaccines in general with their health care provider. Vaccines — including the flu vaccine — are safe, effective, readily available, and are covered by most insurance plans. For more information about immunizations, contact the Delaware Immunization Program or call 800-282-8672.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
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