flu vaccine

As state and federal public health officials continue to see an increase in flu-associated hospitalizations and deaths, the Woodward County Health Department reminds the public that it’s not too late to get a flu shot, which is available at no out-of-pocket cost to recipients.

Public health officials said there are several weeks remaining in the flu season, and the number of hospitalizations and deaths will continue to increase.

A flu shot is especially encouraged for children over the age of 6 months and a high-dose vaccine is recommended for those over the age of 65.

Flu shots also are encouraged for those who suffer from chronic heart and lung conditions and pregnant women. Children ages 6 months to 8 years old who have never had a flu shot will need two vaccines, at least 28 days apart, during the first year.

“It is not too late to get a flu shot,” said Terri Salisbury, regional administrative director. “It takes up to two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective. Flu season runs through April or May, so it is important to have protection as soon as possible.”

In addition to getting a flu shot, it is important to practice frequent hand washing and prevent the spread of germs by covering your sneeze and cough.

Those who are having flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, fatigue and chills are encouraged to stay home from public gatherings until they are able to go 24 hours without a fever, and without fever-reducing medication.

Anyone, especially those who are underinsured with children, interested in receiving a flu shot at no out-of-pocket cost should contact the Woodward County Health Department at 580-256-6416 for clinic times and further information.

The clinic is located at 1631 Texas Ave. in Woodward.

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