Concord, NH – This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week and the New Hampshire Immunization Program in the Division of Public Health Services is encouraging everyone to get his or hea flu vaccine. There is still supply available and since the flu season typically runs from December to April it is not too late.
“This national event provides an important opportunity for public health and medical officials to remind people how important it is to be immunized against the flu,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health Services at DHHS. “Getting vaccinated is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against flu, but their loved ones as well. It is also the best way to prevent flu-related complications that can lead to hospitalization or death.”
This season, for the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized in the United States due to complications from influenza and thousands die each year.
While CDC recommends that everyone be immunized against influenza, certain groups are at higher risk of severe illness and complications and should be vaccinated every year, including:
Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
People 50 years of age or older
People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, including asthma or heart disease, or those who are immune compromised
People who live with or care for those at high risk of flu complications, including:
Health care workers
Household contacts of persons at high risk of complications from the flu
Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
Getting a flu vaccine is easy and all vaccines for children in New Hampshire are free of charge. Call your health care provider or local health department today. For more information about influenza and influenza vaccine visit the New Hampshire Immunization Program website at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/immunization/index.htm or the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu.