Kentucky health officials are encouraging everyone to get a flu shot in recognition of National Influenza Vaccination Week which ends December 8. While a person may feel a little achy or exhausted afterward, that's actually just the immune system getting ready to fight off the flu. National Influenza Vaccination week is a national awareness campaign focused on highlighting the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. Although influenza (flu) activity remains at minimal levels, the virus can still cause illness and even death. "We have no way of knowing if this flu season will be milder or just as severe as last season". The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. Vaccination is especially important for older adults, infants, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions because they are at greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu.
Kern County Public Health Services Department encourages residents to get their flu vaccine annually.
"The flu vaccine is the single best way to protect you and your loved ones against the flu", Commissioner of DPH Jeff Howard, M.D. "Flu vaccination can reduce doctor visits, pneumonia, missed work and school due to illness, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations". This includes health care personnel and household contacts of children less than six months of age, since these children are too young to receive the flu vaccine.
Typical flu symptoms are upper respiratory infections and a high fever. "Perhaps, more importantly in some settings, is the fact that the more people who get vaccinated, the less flu spreads around", added Dr. Rehm.