National Influenza Vaccination Week Highlights Importance to Get Flu Shot

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If you haven't received your flu shot, you might wish to celebrate National Influenza Vaccination Week, December 5-11, 2010 by doing so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set aside this week to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination.

This year’s flu vaccination includes protection against the three strains of flu identified by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices expected to circulate in the 2010-2011 season. These three strains are an A/H3N2 strain, a B strain and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain.

The CDC now recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated if they haven't already done so, to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu.

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Flu activity usually peaks in January or February. It takes the body two weeks after getting vaccinated to build immunity to the flu virus.

"The bottom line is, anyone—even healthy people—can get sick from the flu," said Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H. "Lead the way to better health for all by getting your flu shot."

Tips to help prevent the spread of the flu

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  2. Use waterless alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60% alcohol) when soap is not available and hands are not visibly dirty.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Try to cough or sneeze into your elbow / upper sleeve rather than your hand. If you use a tissue, dispose of it in a wastebasket and then wash your hands.

For more information about National Influenza Vaccination Week, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw/ or http://www.flu.gov, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' dedicated flu website.

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