FREEHOLD – The New Jersey Department of Health is acknowledging December 6 through 12 as National Influenza Vaccination Week and emphasizes that all residents should get their annual flu vaccine.
It’s usually recommended that people receive their flu shot before October, but the DOH still insists on getting the shot as the flu viruses can circulate as late as May.
“Getting your flu vaccine is more important than ever as we face increases in COVID-19 cases throughout the state, said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and can help to conserve potentially scarce healthcare resources during the pandemic.”
Governor Phil Murphy recently published a proclamation declaring December 6 through 12 as Influenza Vaccination Week in New Jersey to go along with the national initiative which focuses on the importance of flu vaccination during the holiday season and for the future.
A yearly flu vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for everyone 6 months of age and older.
Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu. Those at high risks include:
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old.
- People 65 years of age and older.
- Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks after end of pregnancy.
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
- People who have medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes.
People who care for persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications should also be making it a priority to get a flu shot. This can consist of healthcare personnel and household contacts of children less than six months of age, since these children are too young to receive the flu vaccine.
“Everyone can play a role in fighting the flu,” said Commissioner Persichilli. “Through the Department’s initiatives, our stakeholders share in the responsibility to help ensure that our communities are aware of the dangers of flu, the benefits of vaccination, as well as helping to improve access to vaccination services.”
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, urgent care centers, and pharmacies.
For general flu information and to find a flu shot near you, visit the Department’s website at nj.gov/health/fighttheflunj.
For more information about NIVW, visit the CDC web page at cdc.gov/flu/nivw/index.htm.