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It's Time To "Shoo The Flu"! The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine.

By Renay Rouse

October 07, 2019

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is reminding everyone to get their flu shot before the height of the upcoming flu season. Flu activity can begin as early as October and last as late as May. The best way to avoid the flu this season is to get the flu vaccine soon. “The flu vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent the flu.” said Carolann Vitani, Interim Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Martin County. “You should also take actions to stop the spread of germs, such as washing your hands often, covering your cough and sneeze and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.”

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. It can take up to two weeks after vaccination to develop protection against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccine every year as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications. There are many different flu vaccine options this season, which include high dose and adjuvanted vaccine for adults aged 65 years and older.

CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine every year because flu viruses evolve quickly, and last year’s vaccine may not protect against the current year’s flu strain. Even if the flu vaccine does not fully protect against the flu, it may reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications.

Getting vaccinated if you are healthy helps to protect our most vulnerable populations. People at higher risk for flu-related complications include children less than 5, adults over the age of 65, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and people who have existing medical conditions, such as asthma and obesity.

The flu vaccine is readily available throughout Martin County including private doctor offices, pharmacies and grocery stores. The Florida Department of Health in Martin County offers free flu shots for uninsured or underinsured adults and children. To schedule an appointment, call 772-221-4000 and pressing option 3.