NH DHHS - New Hampshire Residents Reminded It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate!

DHHS Recognizes National Influenza Immunization Week

Concord, NH – The annual influenza (flu) season is underway and the New

Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public

Health Services (DPHS) is encouraging any residents who have not yet

received their flu vaccination this year to do so. The flu vaccine is still

the single best protection against the flu. It is also helpful in reducing

the length and severity of illness if someone does get the flu. National

Influenza Immunization Week was established by the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC) to highlight the importance of continuing flu

vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

On December 4th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

announced that the strain of flu that is making most people in the United

States sick so far this season is in this year’s vaccine, but it is not a

perfect match. The influenza A (H3N2) strain has changed since the vaccine

was manufactured, which is not uncommon with flu strains. The vaccine does

still offer some protection against the flu and its complications.

“We want to make sure that New Hampshire residents are as well protected as

possible against the flu and the best preventive step is still to get

vaccinated,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “It

is also important that if you do think you have the flu, speak with your

healthcare provider as soon as possible and stay home from school and work

to avoid spreading it to others who are at risk.”

It is especially important that those at higher risk for influenza

complications be vaccinated. These groups include:

· Children aged 6 months through 4 years of age

· Pregnant women

· Adults 65 years of age or older

· People who are immunosuppressed

· People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, including

asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or chronic lung disease.

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

should also be vaccinated including:

· Health care workers

· Household contacts of persons at high risk of complications from the


· Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children younger

than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated).

Additionally, it is also important for patients who have flu symptoms, even

if they have been vaccinated, to seek medical attention. There are

antiviral medications that can be administered to shorten symptoms and help

prevent more serious illness and complications. These medications are more

effective the sooner they are administered after developing symptoms.

Influenza can be a serious disease of the lungs, nose, and throat. The

illness is spread from person to person through contact with respiratory

secretions including through coughing and sneezing. Typical flu symptoms

include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny

or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. An average of 23,000 people die each year

in the United States due to influenza. The vaccine itself does not give you

the flu and is very safe.

There is plenty of flu vaccine available, and vaccines are offered in many

locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, retail stores, pharmacies,

health care centers, as well as some employers and schools. To look for a

flu vaccine near you visit


For more information on influenza and the vaccine, contact the NH

Immunization Program at 1-800-852-3345 x 4482 or 603-271-4482 or the Bureau

of Infectious Disease Control at 1-800-852-3345 x 0279 or 603-271-0279.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at

www.cdc.gov for more information or the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov.