ORLANDO —The Orange County Health Department is highlighting the importance of influenza (flu) vaccination by recognizing December 5-11, 2010 as National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) would like to remind the community to get their seasonal flu shot, if they have not done so already.
While the flu season in Florida, usually peaks in January and February, getting a flu shot now can still offer protection during the peak of the flu season. “Vaccination is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of getting the flu. Getting vaccinated could prevent serious illness and death,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department.
Launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2005, each day of NIVW focuses on reaching a different part of the U.S. population. This season, NIVW will reach people of all ages with the message that “Flu Ends With U,” and that getting vaccinated not only protects you from the flu, but it can prevent you from spreading it to friends and family as well.
This is the first year that everyone 6 months and older is recommended to receive an annual flu vaccine. Children under 6 months are too young to receive the flu vaccine, but they are among the most vulnerable to develop serious, even fatal, complications from flu. This makes vaccination of their close contacts such as parents, siblings, and caregivers, especially critical.
Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than 2 weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.
Flu shots for children and adults are offered at the Orange County Health Department’s Central Health Center located at 832 West Central Boulevard, Monday through Friday from 7:30am- 3:00pm on a first-come, first-serve walk in basis. The immunization program is closed the 2nd Friday of each month. The cost of the flu shot for adults is $28.00. Flu shots for children are free. We accept Medicare and some Medicaid. For more information about Influenza and clinic hours please visit http://orchd.com/personalHealth/immunizations/flu/index.asp