Tallahassee – State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, Dr. John Armstrong, received his annual flu shot today at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County and demonstrated that it is not too late for Floridians to be vaccinated against the flu. The Department recommends that all Floridians 6 months of age and older receive a flu shot each year.
“With peak flu season approaching, it is not too late to get your flu shot,” said Dr. Armstrong. “Anyone can get the flu, and vaccination is the single best way to protect against flu for Florida’s kids, adults, and families.”
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, retail stores, pharmacies, and health centers, and through many employers and schools. Check with your physician, your local county health department or www.floridahealth.gov to search for a location to receive a flu vaccine. Amy Reilly, Senior Community Health Nurse Supervisor for the Florida Department of Health in Marion County is pictured above with State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, Dr. John Armstrong.
- The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu this season. If you get the flu vaccine, you are 60 percent less likely to need treatment for the flu by a healthcare professional. Getting the vaccine has been shown to offer substantial benefits, including less illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations, and deaths. During the 2012 – 2013 flu season, it is estimated that 56.6 percent of children ages 6 months to 17 years and 41.5 percent of adults age 18 and up received the vaccine in the United States.
- It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That is why it is better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season gets under way.
- It is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with contracting the flu while pregnant. The Department has received several reports of pregnant women with influenza-like illness from around the state. The flu vaccination is safe and will protect against the flu for mothers, unborn babies, and newborns during the first months after birth.