Health department urges public to book annual flu shots

October 15, 2012 by  

The Peabody Health Department has issued a reminder to the public to get a free flu shot before influenza season hits, but this is limited until as long as stocks last.

Flu vaccinations are the best way to prevent influenza, which can be serious if contracted by the very young and the very old. Flu shots are offered to everyone aged 18 and over at no charge, provided the health clinic or physician’s office has vaccine in stock. Complete information about how flu vaccines work and the importance of having a shot every year is made available on posters in public health centers or through the work of brochure printers.

One vaccine protects against various types of influenza, including swine flu, also known as H1N1, Influenza H3N2, and the B strains of the virus. The time to book a flu shot is now, before health care centers get busy.

Public Health Nurse Neia Illingworth said:

“Although the amount of flu-like illness in Massachusetts is low right now, it’s important to remember that in most years, flu season doesn’t peak until January or February. This means that this is an excellent time to get a flu vaccine. We urge everyone to get vaccinated to help stay healthy this season.”

When immunization against flu is an annual event, individuals and families are not just protected but entire communities can benefit by preventing the spread of infection – in schools, offices, and facilities such as hospitals.

Pregnant and breast-feeding women should consult with their doctor prior to making an appointment for an influenza vaccination.