The Department of Public Health has issued a statement urging everyone to receive flu vaccination by October. “If you are not vaccinated or eligible for any influenza or flu vaccination this season, you are at risk for spreading viral infection to yourself and loved ones. If you do not take care in how you prepare and store your flu vaccines, you can put yourself at risk for serious side effects including hospitalization,” the DPH states in its latest alert. There have been several deaths reported from people contracting complications from these vaccination shots. DPH encourages all persons older than six months of age, women who are pregnant or breast feeding and anyone with a compromised immune system to receive one dose of vaccine each month.
Flu vaccines help prevent disease by stimulating the body’s immune system. This stimulates the production of antibodies that fight viruses like the flu and helps to protect against illness. Children receive the flu shot before receiving the flu vaccination series. Adults can also be exposed to viruses through unprotected hand-to-mouth contact with someone who is sick, the ingestion of infected saliva or through touching an object that has been touched by an infected person or by a cough or sneeze.
DPH reminds everyone to use their flu shot and injection materials carefully, and to always follow manufacturer’s package instructions carefully. Store unused or expired flu vaccines and other injection supplies in the refrigerator so they can last as long as possible. Make sure children know how to properly handle and hold vaccines and flu syringes. Parents should instruct young children on how to protect themselves and others by washing their hands with soap and water regularly and should instruct children about the importance of clean hands to avoid spreading disease.
For older children and adults, the Department of Public Health reminds them to remember to bring along medications and supplies needed such as mouthwash, towels, masks, thermometers, and sunglasses. If a doctor wants you to take any kind of immune suppressant, he or she will usually let you know whether or not it is safe for you to do so before dispensing it. People over 60 are considered high risk for complications from the flu and other infections. High risk individuals should always receive a flu vaccination regardless of age, to help prevent serious illness from occurring. If someone in your household is unwell and is not protected, it is important to ensure that other family members are vaccinated and treated for any illnesses.
For the highest protection against flu and other infectious diseases, make sure your loved ones are vaccinated and practice good hygiene. Wash hands frequently and carefully, especially after touching anything that has come into contact with someone who is sick. If you have young children around the year, make sure they receive regular flu shots. It’s very important for every child and adult to be up to date on routine flu shots as part of their immunization requirements. If you have elderly loved ones, it is especially important to talk to them and get them vaccinated if they’re unwell.
Flu season this year promises to be a very serious one. If you’re concerned that your loved ones might be unwell, it’s a good idea to get them vaccinated and advise everyone you can about how to protect themselves. The Department of Public Health encourages everyone to visit their local health department for more information and to learn about flu prevention. Remember, the earlier you catch the flu, the greater the chance for successful treatment and recovery.