Do you plan to get a flu shot this year?
PORTLAND -- Oregon Public Health officials are encouraging people to get their flu vaccine this year and said there shouldn’t be any problems with a limited supply, as in years past.
"We already have a good supply of flu vaccine across the state. There should be enough to immunize everyone who wants to avoid getting sick, so people should go out and get it now - the immunization should protect throughout the flu season," said Paul Cieslak, M.D., M.P.H., Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention manager with Oregon Public Health.
The flu season in Oregon usually runs from the fall through the spring. But flu can infect people throughout the year.
This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months get a seasonal flu vaccination.
"Every flu season is different and even healthy people can get sick. The influenza virus is very unpredictable and the best preventive measure is vaccination," said Cieslak.
This season's flu shot will protect against three influenza viruses: H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B, which are already co-circulating in many parts of the world.
A seasonal flu vaccination is especially recommended for all health care workers as well as people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, people living or caring for babies 6 months and younger or people who are unable to be vaccinated because of health reasons.
"Vaccination is key. But it's also important to follow the three basic preventive measures: wash your hands, cover your cough and stay home when you're sick. Above all else, get vaccinated," Cieslak added.
The flu vaccine is now available through health care providers, local health departments and many pharmacies. To locate an immunization clinic near you, call the Oregon Public Health Flu Hotline at 1-800-978-3040 or go to the State of Oregon's Flu Information Web site.