It's Not Too Late for Flu Vaccines

By Eric DeFreeuw

January 2, 2013 Updated Jan 2, 2013 at 11:24 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Now that the holidays are officially over, Allen County residents have a new problem on their hands - literally! It’s the start of flu season.

While the “flu season” typically runs from February to March, the Allen County Department of Health have seen signs that flu season started as early as October. But what they have also seen is the number of vaccinations decline by over 20 percent compared to last year.

Last year's mild flu season could be to blame.

Naturally, the best way to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated, and it's still not too late to get that done now. Everybody should get a flu shot to avoid spreading the virus, even those as young as 6 months old.

Jenifer Swanson, an Immunization Nurse with the Department of Health says, “because babies cannot be vaccinated until they are 6 months old, it's very important to make sure that other people around those infants are protected. Because we really have no way to give them vaccines until they reach that 6 month age, and they are a very vulnerable population to where the flu could cause some issues with them.”

Don't forget senior citizens as well. Those over the age of 65 are recommended to get a "high dose" vaccine.

As kids start heading back to school from break, it’s important to keep your kids home when they are truly sick. Try to avoid exposing them to kids and teachers at school if your kids do have the flu.

The Health Department reminds parents to teach children good hand hygiene, as well as make sure they cough into their sleeve rather than out in the open.

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