DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Health

December 6, 2012

Flu season is just starting

CONCORD — It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week, a national campaign to remind everyone that even though the holiday season has arrived, if they have not yet received their annual flu vaccination, it is still a good time to get vaccinated.

The New Hampshire Immunization Program at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is reminding everyone, especially those at high risk of complications, that the flu is not just a bad cold and causes more than 25,000 deaths a year in the U.S.

It has already been seen in New Hampshire this season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccine as the first

and most important step in protecting against influenza disease. NIVW efforts focus on reaching people of all ages about the importance of

ongoing flu vaccination.

“Since the virus changes every year and the immunity provided by the vaccine wanes,” said Dr. José Montero, “it is important to be vaccinated every year. The vaccine make up is actually reviewed yearly to make sure it matches the strains in circulation and is adjusted accordingly. It is also important that children receiving the flu vaccine for the first time receive two doses because the first dose primes the immune system and the second dose provides the immune protection. There is also a nasal version available for people who do not like needles if you are age 2-49 and are healthy and not pregnant.”

Another goal of NIVW is to communicate the importance of flu vaccination for people who are at high risk of developing complications if they become ill.

These groups include: young children (those under 5 years of age, particularly those younger than 2); adults age 65 years and older; people who are immune compromised; pregnant women; people 18 years or younger who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy; people who are morbidly obese (BMI of 40 or greater); esidents of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities; people with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes (Types 1 and 2), neurologic conditions, and heart and lung disease.

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