”This is our best shot at avoiding this season’s flu,” Fennell said. “Getting vaccinated is especially important for at-risk citizens and for those who can’t afford to miss too many days of work, such as your board of supervisors.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Vaccination is particularly important for people at high risk for serious complications from the flu, including pregnant women, young children, older adults and those who have certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and lung disease.
”A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing,” said Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health director Susan Buckley. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu and spread it to others.”
According to the CDC, flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity varies every year and can begin as early as October and continue
There are two types of flu vaccines available, the flu shot and the flu mist.
The flu shot is usually given in the arm. According to the CDC, it is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. This year’s flu shot protects against the three viruses: H1N1, H3N2 and one type of influenza B.
The nasal spray flu vaccine, also called flu mist, is administered in the nose. According to the CDC, it is approved for use in healthy people ages 2 through 49 who are not pregnant. Nasal spray vaccines for the 2013-14 flu season provide protection against the same viruses as the shot, plus one additional strain of influenza B.
”A quick flu mist or shot is so much more preferable than the week or two lying in bed miserable with the flu,” Sundberg said.
The DHHS Public Health Clinic is offering both the flu shot and flu mist by appointment. Call 707-268-2108 for more information.
Vaccinations are also available at private pharmacies and drugstores.