In observance of December 2-8, 2018 as National Influenza Vaccination Week, the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) reminds families that getting a flu vaccine is the best way to fight the flu. If you haven’t already, you can still get vaccinated. As long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for protecting people at high risk of serious flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, adults 65 years and older and anyone with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease. 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.
“Flu season most often peaks between December and March, but activity can occur as late as May,” says Jeanne Casner, County Health Director. “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.
The Health Department offers flu vaccine at no cost to people without health insurance and to children with Medical Assistance. They can also bill most major insurance carriers. More information about Health Department immunization clinics may be found at: www.chesco.org/health or by calling (610) 344-6252.