Health officials are on a mission this week to get residents vaccinated against the flu during a week devoted to the initiative.
Beginning yesterday and lasting through Dec. 8, National Influenza Vaccination Week is geared towards encouraging those who haven't to get their flu shots. The Washington County Health Department also is taking part.
"National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) serves to remind all of us about the critical importance of receiving a flu shot every season," said Mary Beth Murray, administrative director
for the WCHD. "Flu can cause serious illness and even death, so it is better to be safe and protect you and loved ones by getting a flu vaccination."
According to the WCHD, while the flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu. Those at high risk include people 50 years of age and older, young children, people with chronic lung disease (such as asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions, other long-term health conditions, and pregnant women.
It is also important for health care workers and residents living in nursing homes to receive flu vaccine because they can easily give the flu to their patients before they know they are sick.
Only 52 percent of health care workers in long-term care facilities received flu vaccine last year,
according to a national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you have questions about whether you qualify for a fee waiver, contact the Washington
County Health Department at (918-335-3005).