The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) urges anyone who has not yet received flu vaccine to get it as soon as possible. This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a national observance to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination. While many people typically get the flu vaccine in early fall, flu activity usually peaks between December and February, a time when many people are out and about.
“During the holidays, friends and families often come together to celebrate,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Although you may be in good health, people around you, like young children and grandparents, may be at higher risk of getting the flu and suffering serious complications from it. A flu vaccine is the best defense against getting the flu. If you don’t get the vaccine to protect yourself, do it to protect the loved ones around you.”
Every season, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of deaths. Even healthy people can get sick from the flu.
Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3 C’s: clean, cover, and contain.
- Clean – frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water.
- Cover – cover your cough and sneeze.
- Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.
Influenza antiviral drugs can be a second line of defense for treatment of some who get sick with flu and can lessen the duration and severity of symptoms.
To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your local health department or log onto the IDPH website to use the Flu Vaccine Finder.