With the cold days of winter comes the start of the holiday season, a time to be spent with family and friends. This time of year also marks the beginning of flu season, which can last into May. As such, early December is the right time for residents to get their flu shots.
Health professionals strongly encourage those most susceptible to the flu to get their flu shots. Members of the public who are at high risk include children, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses. Additionally, pregnant women and health care personnel should get vaccinated. Fortunately, there is no shortage this year, so all residents who want to reduce their chances of getting the flu can be vaccinated. Even if you received a vaccination last year, state health officials say it is important to get a flu shot annually since viruses that cause the flu often change from year to year.
It is easy to find all the information you need about scheduling a shot, clinic locations and times, as well as fees and much more. Look for a flu clinic in your area or speak with your health care provider about scheduling your flu shot. County health departments can provide a listing of local flu clinics. Additional information about influenza, its symptoms and potential dangers, can be found on the NYS Heath Departmentís Web site at http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/influenza/seasonal/.
Remember, if you are considered at high risk for contracting the flu, or work with people who may be, take action today to schedule a flu vaccination. Being proactive and getting a flu shot will ensure a healthier holiday and winter season.