Illinois Department Of Public Health Urges Everyone 6 Months And Older To Be Vaccinated
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. is recommending that everyone older than 6 months be vaccinated against influenza.
The flu season in Illinois typically starts around October and can last up to May. The flu vaccine is becoming available at many local health departments, pharmacies, and health clinics around the state.
“The single most effective way to prevent getting the flu is an annual flu shot,” said Director Shah. “Influenza is a serious illness and can be fatal. Even healthy people get the flu each year, so it’s important for everyone to be vaccinated. Being vaccinated will not only help protect you, but it will help protect people at higher risk of severe illness such as the elderly.”
The flu vaccine is easier to get than ever. The vaccine comes in the traditional form of a flu shot, but for people who don’t like needles, there is an intradermal vaccine given with a much smaller needle, or a nasal spray. There are also a high-dose vaccine for people age 65 years and older and a recombinant (egg-free) vaccine. The vaccine is also becoming easier to get as more places, like workplaces, are offering the vaccine, and pharmacies are open earlier and close later to help people with busy schedules.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the availability of more influenza vaccine this year than ever before. Manufactures are making more than 171 million doses, 40 million of which have already been distributed across the country. Overall, CDC estimates that 47 percent of the U.S. population age 6 months and older was vaccinated during the 2014-2015 season, similar to the 2013-2014 season and up from an estimated 41 percent five years ago.
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