NH DHHS Recognizes National Influenza Vaccination Week

It’s Not Too Late to Get Your Annual Flu Vaccine

Concord, NH – It’s not too late to get your flu vaccination and vaccine

manufacturers are projecting that there will be plenty of flu vaccine to go

around. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services,

Immunization Program is proud to join forces with the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Hampshire’s many health care providers

and community partners in recognizing National Influenza Vaccination Week

(NIVW), December 4-10, 2011 as an opportunity to highlight the importance

of getting an annual flu vaccination.

NIVW was established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza

vaccination as well as to foster greater use of flu vaccine after the

holiday season into January and beyond. The flu season typically runs from

October to May and has not really begun in New Hampshire yet so there is

still plenty of time to get a flu vaccine for this year.

“We have to remember that influenza kills roughly 25,000 people in this

country every year and hospitalizes over 200,000 annually,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “This is not just a cold.

Though many people only become mildly ill, anyone, no matter how healthy or

what age, can contract the flu and be out of commission for days.”

Immunity from the influenza vaccine does not last from season to season

plus the flu strains that are circulating, and thus the composition of the

vaccine, change ever year so it is important to be vaccinated again even if

you were last year. CDC recommends that everyone age 6 months or older

receive an annual flu vaccine, particularly those at greater risk of

serious flu-related complications like pneumonia that can lead to

hospitalization and even death.

Children younger than 5 years olds, but especially children younger

than 2 years old

Pregnant women

People with certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes (types 1

and 2), or heart and lung disease

People 65 years and older

People who care for anyone in one or more of the high-risk groups


Other people for whom vaccination is especially important are:

People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications

from flu, including:

Health care workers

Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from

the flu

Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 5 years

of age with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of

children younger than 6 months of age (children younger than 6

months are at highest risk of flu-related complications but are

too young to get vaccinated)

Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, running or stuffy

nose, muscle aches (a hallmark of flu which is not present with a cold),

fatigue and miserable days spent in bed instead of at work or school. While

flu vaccine is available at doctor’s offices and health departments, it is

also available at many pharmacies, workplaces, and other retail and clinic

locations throughout the State.

For more information about flu vaccination, visit CDC’s website at

http://www.cdc.gov/flu, the DHHS website at

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/immunization/index.htm or call the New

Hampshire Immunization Program at (603) 271-4482.