This year marks the 100th anniversary of the worldwide flu pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. More recently, last year's flu season was record-breaking …
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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the worldwide flu pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. More recently, last year's flu season was record-breaking statewide, with 4,650 Coloradans hospitalized with flu, including 1,085 residents from Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, according to a Tri-County Health Department news release.
As flu season gets under way this fall, Tri-County Health Department encourages all residents ages 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine as early as possible, ideally during October.
“Given the seriousness of flu illness, getting an annual flu vaccine every fall is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health and the health of people around you,” Dr. John M. Douglas, executive director of Tri-County Health, said in the news release. “This year, the flu vaccine has been updated and there are more vaccine choices.”
According to the news release, flu vaccines are available that contain three of four flu A and B types, which are designed to ensure good protection against the flu strains that could cause illness this year. In addition, the flu nasal spray is available for healthy people ages 2-49 years. People with egg allergies also can be protected with a flu vaccination, the release says.
Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that approximately 49 percent of pregnant women received a flu vaccine last year in the U.S., as well as 58 percent of children and 78 percent of healthcare workers, Douglas said in the release.
“That still leaves susbstantial gaps in vaccine coverage in our communities, especially among vulnerable populations like pregnant women, seniors, young chidlren and people with chronic medical conditins,” Douglas said. “When flu spreads easily, these individuals suffer the consequenses. Everyone benefits when flu vaccination is high.”
The Tri-County Health Department provides flu vaccinations for those on Medicaid or who are uninsured at immunization clinics throughout Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties. For information, go to www.tchd.org/flu or call the immunization hotline at 303-451-0123. To find flu vaccines at retail outlets, go to www.vaccinefinder.org or speak with a healthcare provider.
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