Reminder To Get Flu Shot During National Influenza Vaccination Week

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Reminder To Get Flu Shot During National Influenza Vaccination Week

December 10, 2013 Updated Dec 10, 2013 at 12:39 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- As part of National Influenza Vaccination Week, health officials are reminding residents that getting a flu shot is the best way to protect the ones you love this holiday season.

Flu is one of the most common respiratory illnesses in the United States, infecting millions of people every year. Anyone can become infected, but it is particularly dangerous for the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and people with chronic health conditions who are more likely to become seriously ill or die from the flu or its complications.

There is no way to predict how severe the flu season might be. Since flu viruses are constantly changing and immunity can decline over time, health experts recommend that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine.

“National Influenza Vaccination Week is a great opportunity to remind people of how important it is to get the flu shot every year,” said Allen County Health Commissioner Deborah McMahan, MD. “Getting vaccinated is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against flu, but their loved ones.”

Vaccines are available in a variety of locations from your doctor or retail pharmacy. There are also more vaccine options available this year, including vaccines that protect against three strains of flu and vaccines that protect against four, a nasal spray variety, a high-dose variety for the elderly, and one that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle.

The Department of Health has the traditional flu shot for children and adults for $19. The Immunization Clinic is at 4813 New Haven Ave. The clinic’s hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (260) 449-7514 to make an appointment. Children under age 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian (with appropriate consent).

Super Shot Inc. also has flu vaccine for children and teens. Call (260) 424-7468 for time and locations.

For more information on preventing the flu, visit www.fighttheflu.org.

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