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Flu Vaccinations Recommended For All This Season

Release Date: August 12, 2010
Contact: Julie Henry,  919-707-5053

RALEIGH – The N.C. Division of Public Health joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in urging everyone to make flu vaccination a priority this season.  Unlike last year, vaccine is plentiful, available and not restricted to particular age groups.  Everyone over the age of 6 months is encouraged to be immunized.

“Our challenge with H1N1 vaccine was getting it in time to beat the first big wave of illness,” State Health Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel said.  “This year, manufacturers are ahead of the curve, giving us plenty of time to get folks adequately protected for flu season.”

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine, available in injectable and nasal spray formulas, is already arriving at pharmacies, doctors’ offices and local health departments across the state.  The vaccine includes protection against the H1N1 strain of the virus as well as two other anticipated flu strains.  For most people, that means only one flu immunization is necessary.  As usual, children under 9 years of age who haven’t been vaccinated against the flu in the past will need two doses of flu vaccine.  

Seasonal flu is most deadly for very young children and senior citizens.  However, the 2009 H1N1 flu disproportionately affected middle-aged adults and young people. The CDC estimated that more than 12,000 people died from H1N1 last year, including more than 10,000 who were under 65 years old.

“H1N1 has reminded us that influenza, no matter what strain, is a serious disease at any age,” Engel said.  “Even if you aren’t hospitalized, it can severely disrupt your life.  A vaccination is safe and effective and the best way to prevent the flu.”

In addition to vaccination, the N.C. Division of Public Health encourages you to continue practicing health habits to protect yourself from flu viruses:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Stay home if you are sick. You should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

For more information on flu vaccinations and vaccine safety, visit the CDC website. external link
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