For Immediate Release: October 23, 2007
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – Influenza vaccine has been arriving in the state, and Vermonters are advised to get their flu shot and take simple precautions to keep from getting sick and to keep germs from spreading.
“The very best way to protect yourself – and everyone around you – is to get vaccinated,” said Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MS. “Nearly everyone can benefit from a flu shot, most especially the very young, older people and people with chronic health conditions.”
In Vermont, flu season typically begins in December or January and continues through April of the following year.
“Now through December is a great time to get your flu shot for the season,” said Moffatt.
The supply of flu vaccine is expected to be plentiful. More than 60 percent of the state’s pediatric supply has already gone out to providers through the Health Department’s Vaccines for Children program – and about 90,000 doses of adult vaccine have been distributed by various manufacturers to hospitals, long-term care facilities, doctor’s offices, businesses and non-profit agencies. The rest of the vaccine supply should arrive during the next six weeks.
The state’s Visiting Nurses Association and home health agencies have started to hold adult flu-shot clinics at locations around the state. To find a flu shot clinic in your area and for much more information, go to the Health Department’s website at healthvermont.gov, then select Seasonal Flu.
“We started our public clinics here in St. Johnsbury and surrounding towns on October 17 and we will offer the clinics through at least mid-November,” said Rita Laferriere, RN, assistant director of special programs at Caledonia Home Health Agency. “We’d like to believe that everyone will have access to flu immunizations in our area this season. We’ll even schedule additional clinics late in the season if they are necessary.”
Flu symptoms include fever, body aches, tiredness, headache and dry cough. Although most people recover without complications, more than 36,000 people in the U.S. die each year from complications and approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized.
In addition to being vaccinated against the flu, help keep germs from spreading with these actions:
- Cover your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away.
- Wash your hands often, and always after you cough or sneeze.
- Use alcohol-based hand wipes/gel sanitizers if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.