For Immediate Release: October 16, 2006
Media Contact: Communication Office
BURLINGTON – Influenza vaccine is starting to arrive in the state and the Vermont Department of Health is advising people to get their flu shot and take common sense precautions to avoid catching and spreading the contagious virus.
According to manufacturer estimates, more vaccine should be available this flu season than ever before. Vaccine is expected to be widely available in Vermont starting next month.
“The single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu is to get vaccinated. I urge all Vermonters to get vaccinated, especially the very young, the very old and people with chronic health conditions,” said Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN.
New this year are recommendations to vaccinate all children younger than age 5.
Flu season typically begins in December or January and continues through April of the following year.
Flu symptoms include fever, body aches, tiredness, headache and dry cough. Though most people recover without complications, more than 36,000 people in the U.S. die each year from complications and some 200,000 are hospitalized.
In addition to being vaccinated against the flu, take the following simple precautions to help keep illness from spreading.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away.
- Wash your hands often, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Use alcohol-based hand wipes and gel sanitizers if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
Flu vaccine may be available through your doctor’s office. Additionally some employers routinely offer vaccine and there are a number of community clinics where people may find a shot. To help locate an adult flu clinic in your community visit: healthvermont.gov, then select the flu clinic schedule.