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TDH urges everyone to get flu vaccine

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is urging the public to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible.
“Getting our flu vaccination is really about protecting other people, not just ourselves,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, in a press release issued from the state. “Even those who think 'I have never been sick from the flu' have probably passed it to another person at some point. It is easier than ever to do the right thing and get vaccinated.”
According to the TDH, flu vaccines are widely available throughout the state and typically only take a few minutes to receive. Those planning to get a flu vaccine can contact their healthcare provider to inquire about locations. They may also visit the Vaccine Finder online at http://flushot.healthmap.org/.
‘’Influenza related deaths are tragic and impact families across Tennessee every year,’’ said Tennessee Immunization Program Director Kelly Moore, MD, MPH. “It’s important these families know there are things they can do to keep their loved ones healthy during the flu season, especially getting a flu vaccine.’’
It is recommended that everyone six months and older receive a flu vaccine.
The TDH reported that it is even more important for young children, pregnant women and the elderly to receive the vaccine. According to the TDH, nine Tennessee children died from flu-related complications during the 2014-2015 flu season.
‘’You can’t predict who is going to get the flu; it could be you this year,’’ said Moore. ‘’But getting a flu vaccine is the best tool we have to help protect against the influenza virus. This season’s flu shot and nasal spray vaccines have been updated from last season to better protect against the most common strains of flu causing illness today.’’
Even after getting a flu vaccine, practicing good health habits remains important for protecting yourself from the flu and other viruses, as well as preventing spreading them to others if you do get sick, the state reported.
Good health habits include: frequent hand washing with soapy water or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
If you do become sick, the TDH advises staying home to recover and to prevent spreading the illness to others.
More information about the flu vaccine is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/flu/default.htm.