Bond County Health Department wants to remind everyone that National Influenza Vaccination Week is happening now through December 8th. Melody Helmkamp, Immunization Coordinator at Bond County Health Department says it is not too late to get vaccinated. Although the CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October so that people are more likely to be protected against the flu when activity picks up in your community, vaccination into December and beyond can be beneficial during most flu seasons, including this one.
“Flu season most often peaks between December and March, but activity can occur as late as May,” says Dr. Dan Jernigan, Director of the Influenza Division at CDC. “We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now.” It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against influenza virus infection to develop in the body, so it’s best to get vaccinated early.
For millions of people every season, the flu means a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. Millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu each year.
Bond County Health Department agrees with the CDC recommendation for a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses.
“Getting the flu vaccine is simple, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” says Dr. Jernigan. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.
Flu vaccines are offered for adults on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:00 pm at Bond County Health Department. Parents of children under the age of 18 are asked to call and schedule an appointment at 618-664-1442.