While many DeKalb residents are in the middle of checking off items from their holiday to-do list, there’s one item they should add, if they haven’t already checked it off, especially this year – a flu shot.
National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), which is observed this year from Dec. 6 – 12, is an annual observance to remind everyone 6 months and older that there’s still time to get vaccinated against flu.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are most vulnerable to developing serious flu complications, including people with certain chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, last flu season 9 out of 10 adults hospitalized for flu had at least one reported underlying medical condition.
This year, that message is more important than ever, especially given the possibility that both flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will spread this winter. This could place a tremendous burden on the health care system and result in many more illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths than during a regular flu season — especially among people managing chronic conditions because many of them also are at higher risk from COVID-19. The good news is that there is a flu vaccine that is tried and true; proven to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Together, we can use NIVW as a county-wide call to action to encourage everyone ages 6 months and older to get their annual flu shot, especially those with chronic conditions. The more people vaccinated against flu; the more people protected from flu.
Visit one of the DeKalb County Board of Health’s four health center locations to get your flu shot. Drive-thru flu services are available at the East DeKalb and North DeKalb locations. Appointments are required for in-clinic flu shots. Scheduling and registration for drive-thru flu shots can also be done online. For more information, including hours of operation for flu shot services, visit dekalbhealth.net/flu.