Still time for flu vaccine to be effective

Special to the Banner

Posted 12/31/17

Although we are nearing the end of the holiday and the calendar year, it's never too late to think about your health.The holidays are about celebrating the season and spending time with family and …

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Still time for flu vaccine to be effective

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Although we are nearing the end of the holiday and the calendar year, it's never too late to think about your health.

The holidays are about celebrating the season and spending time with family and friends, and a time when influenza and viruses are easily spread. It is important to do your part to keep everyone around you healthy. 

“We want to protect our family, friends and community from illness during this special time of year and throughout the winter months when the risk for influenza is typically the greatest,” said TDH Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner. “The influenza vaccine is still proven to be the best protection we have against the flu and I urge everyone six months and older to get a flu shot now.”

Tennessee typically sees the highest number of seasonal flu cases in January and February each year. Flu vaccine is available in many locations across the state, including county health departments, medical clinics and pharmacies. 

“Every flu season is difficult to predict and we cannot yet know which type of flu virus will be dominant in the U.S.,” said Dr. Kelly Moore, director of the Tennessee Immunization Program. “We do know the flu shot is very safe and is the best protection we have against influenza.”

It’s also extremely important for pregnant women to be vaccinated to protect their unborn children.  It takes about two weeks after receiving the flu vaccine before your body is fully protected from the flu.

After getting the flu vaccine, it’s still important to practice good health habits to protect yourself from the flu and other viruses, and to prevent spreading them to others if you do get sick. 

Good health habits include: 

Wash hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds;

Always cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow, sleeve or a tissue; and

Stay home from work, school or other gatherings when sick to help prevent the spread of flu or other illnesses.                                                                        

For more information about influenza, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.       The stated mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties.

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