The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reminds residents that it’s not too late to get the flu vaccine.
National Influenza Vaccination Week is from December 2nd through the 8th and promotes awareness that the annual flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from the flu.
“The flu isn’t on anyone’s holiday wish list,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive.
The CDC recommends routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older. Last year only 39.5 percent of Michiganders reported receiving a flu shot, below the national rate of 41.7 percent. Typically, those most severely affected by the flu are children younger than 5 years old, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and those over 65 years old.
According to the CDC, last year’s flu season was estimated to be the deadliest since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. More than 79,000 deaths were attributed to the flu, 185 of which were children. In Michigan, two children died last year due to flu-related complications.
It is important for Michiganders to get their flu vaccine now as it takes about two weeks after the vaccine is administered before the body builds up enough immunity to prevent the flu.
This year there are many flu vaccine options available, and residents should speak with a healthcare provider about which flu vaccine is best for them. Flu vaccines are available at many locations throughout Michigan, including doctor’s offices, pharmacies and local health departments.