Health Department Urges Vermonters to Get Seasonal Flu Shot

For Immediate Release: Sept. 16, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON –Seasonal influenza vaccine has started to arrive in Vermont and will be available soon at public clinics and health care provider sites statewide.

Influenza activity is increasing in the United States and the Vermont Department of Health is urging Vermonters to get vaccinated.

The vaccine for a new type of flu (novel H1N1) that has circulated in Vermont and around the world since April 2009 is anticipated to arrive in the state as early as mid-October.

“The first and most important step is to get vaccinated against seasonal flu,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. “Because we have two types of flu viruses circulating at the same time this year, we are encouraging Vermonters to get their seasonal flu shot as soon as possible from their health care provider, or at one of the flu clinics already scheduled.”

Early in the fall, supplies at provider offices may be limited, but there is no shortage of seasonal influenza vaccine expected by public health officials this year. The supply will arrive in stages, and will continue to be made available throughout Vermont during the coming months.

Nearly everyone should get the annual flu shot. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of serious flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, and older adults. Health care workers and other people who live with – or care for – high risk people should also be vaccinated to prevent spreading the flu.

Influenza viruses never completely go away, however when it is cold (October through May), the infection rate increases approximately tenfold.

The following precautions are recommended to prevent the spreading the flu:

Find a flu clinic in your area by clicking into the “clinic locator” on the Health Department website: Healthvermont.gov, or schedule a vaccination appointment with your primary care physician.

Extensive information, tools and resources about seasonal and pandemic flu, healthy habits and preparedness are available at the Health Department’s website: healthvermont.gov or dial 2-1-1. You can also follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/healthvermont.

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