NCDHHS Encourages Flu Vaccine During Flu Vaccination Week

Raleigh

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all North Carolinians who have not done so already to get vaccinated against the flu. Flu Vaccination Week, observed nationally and in North Carolina Dec. 6-12, serves as a reminder that it is never too late to get vaccinated and help protect yourself and others from this dangerous, sometimes deadly virus.

Flu infections are most common in the state from late fall to early spring with activity usually peaking in January or February.

“It’s more important than ever that North Carolinians be as healthy as possible,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD. “Fortunately when it comes to the flu, there’s a clear, simple step everyone can take to protect themselves and their families. It’s not too late. Make a plan today and get your flu shot.”

Flu shots are available at hospitals, pharmacies, private medical offices, some federally qualified health care centers and local health departments. Visit vaccinefinder.org/find-vaccine to find locations in your community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination against the flu for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine. Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection with the flu.

Flu vaccination is safe and effective and has been shown to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick, making it especially important for those at higher risk of more serious outcomes. People at higher risk include those over 65 years of age, children younger than 5, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

In addition to getting a flu vaccine, everyone should practice the following essential precautions to protect against the spread of flu, COVID-19 and other viruses:

  • Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth when in public spaces or with individuals outside of your household.
  • Wait at least 6 feet apart and avoid close contact with people outside your household.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water and use an approved hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol content.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then discard the tissue immediately.
  • If you are sick with flu or have a fever, contact your doctor for advice on treatment and stay home until you have been cleared by your doctor.

For the 2020-21 flu season, NCDHHS has launched a new flu vaccination campaign to encourage flu vaccination and educate North Carolinians about the health risks associated with seasonal flu. Materials are available in English and Spanish that can be used by any organization to help emphasize the need for vaccination and how quick and easy the process is.

Video: "Flu Vaccine: Get It, Got It, Good"

For more information on influenza in North Carolina, visit flu.ncdhhs.gov. Updates on flu surveillance data are posted weekly throughout flu season.

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