October and November have come and gone, and as we head into the holidays and flu season, you might think you’ve missed the boat if you never got your flu shot, but you haven’t! This week marks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Influenza Vaccination Week. For those six months and older who are well enough for the vaccination, you can still get it and protect yourself from the flu.
You’ve heard us say it before: Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease. If you come down with the flu, you won’t only feel lousy and be forced to stay home, but you risk putting others at risk of contracting it as well. For vulnerable members of our population, that can be deadly. In the 2015-2016 flu season alone, an estimated 310,000 Americans were hospitalized with flu-related illnesses. In a particularly bad flu season, that number is estimated to spike to more than 700,000.
Getting vaccinated protects you and others, and if you do get sick, it can make your symptoms milder. Even if you didn’t get vaccinated and you already got the flu, a vaccination can still be helpful, as it may protect you from a different strain, potentially keeping you from getting sick again.
The flu is most active from December through February, but it can last as late as May, so you can even get vaccinated in January or later. We are proud to say that more than 95 percent of WSHA staff got vaccinated this year, so if you haven’t yet, we hope you’ll join us in getting protected!
Many thanks for your commitment to caring for our patients and each other,
WSHA Senior Vice President, Patient Safety