N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., got her flu shot Thursday and encouraged others to get vaccinated, too, with the flu season underway.

“The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent serious illness and help stop the spread of the flu, especially for vulnerable populations like young children and people 65 and older,” said Secretary Cohen. “If you have not gotten your flu shot yet, don’t delay and be sure to make a plan to get one soon.”

Secretary Cohen received the vaccine at a DHHS employee flu clinic being held on the Dorothea Dix Campus in Raleigh.

People at highest risk of complications from the flu include adults 65 and older, young children, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Of the 219 flu deaths reported in the state during the 2016-17 season, more than 150 cases involved a person 65 or older.

The first weekly report for the 2017-18 flu season in North Carolina, released Thursday, indicated sporadic flu activity across the state.

“Sporadic activity is typical for this time of year,” said State Epidemiologist Zack Moore, M.D. “We expect flu activity to increase in coming months, which is why it’s important to get vaccinated now.”

According to studies cited by the CDC, vaccination against the flu can:

~Protect people who are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from flu, like older adults, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions,

~Make illness milder and reduce the risk of more serious outcomes,

~Protect pregnant women and their developing baby

Flu shots are available at hospitals, pharmacies, private medical offices, some federally qualified health care centers and local health departments. For the second year in a row, the CDC is recommending the injectable vaccine instead of the nasal spray.

Weekly updates on flu surveillance data and information about where to find a flu vaccine is available at http://flu.nc.gov.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email