OSDH: It’s not too late to get the flu shot before the holidays

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The holidays are here, and while that means more opportunities to spread the joy, there are also more opportunities to spread the flu and other respiratory viruses as people resume their travels and get together with family and friends.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) said National Flu Vaccine Week (December 5-11) is an important reminder to tick one thing no one should be spending the season without. vacation: a flu shot.

According to OSDH, influenza activity and the number of people vaccinated against influenza during the 2020-2021 season were very low, possibly due to COVID-19 prevention measures.

“It’s important to know that immune protection against influenza wanes over time, so many people may have reduced immunity to the flu this season,” OSDH said.

Health experts are particularly concerned about the impact that reduced immunity could have on people who are already at higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu, including those with certain chronic health conditions such as asthma. , heart disease and diabetes.

“Thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, many of us will be able to celebrate the holidays with our loved ones this year,” said Dr. Fauzia Khan, director of the vaccination service for the Oklahoma Department of Health. “But the COVID-19 vaccine does not protect against the flu, so it’s important that individuals get the flu shot as well to keep family and friends safe. For those who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, it is safe and effective to receive both vaccines at the same time. “

While it is ideal to get the flu shot before the flu begins to spread in your community, getting the flu shot later is still beneficial during most seasons.

The flu most often peaks in February, and heavy activity can continue until May, so there is still time to get your shot if you haven’t already.

OSDH encourages Oklahoma residents to take the time this National Flu Shot Week to go to your doctor or local pharmacy for a flu shot, encourage loved ones to get the flu shot and learn more about the benefits of getting the flu shot.

It is recommended that you get a flu shot every year for anyone six months of age and older, and it is the best way to protect yourself against the flu.

To learn more about finding flu shots in Oklahoma, visit fightflu.health.ok.gov. Residents of Oklahoma can also call the 2-1-1 helpline or contact their county health departments for assistance.

The Center for Disease Control’s vaccine research website at vaccins.gov Also lists suppliers of flu shots in Oklahoma and nationwide.

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