December 8-14 Recognized As Influenza Vaccination Week
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) recognize December 8-14 as National Influenza Vaccination Week. This observance is designed to highlight the importance of the influenza (flu) vaccination, as well as to encourage greater use of flu vaccine throughout the month of December and beyond.
State Surgeon General Ana M. Viamonte Ros, M.D., M.P.H. and Douglas Beach, Secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs, want to remind everyone that it is not too late to get a flu shot.
"The best time for vaccination is in the fall, before the influenza season typically begins,” said Dr. Viamonte Ros. “However, vaccination can still provide protection in December and later because during most years, influenza does not peak until February or later in Florida."
“Elders are particularly vulnerable to the flu, and for many seniors, a flu shot can be the best defense,” said Secretary Beach. “Older Floridians can help themselves stay healthy by getting immunized, and younger caregivers and relatives should also get a flu shot so they don't spread the disease to seniors.”
Since influenza is unpredictable and different types and strains of influenza circulate throughout the flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that influenza vaccine be offered throughout the influenza season.
The following dates can serve as a reminder to get vaccinated:
Tuesday, December 9th: Children's Vaccination Day
Thursday, December 11th: Seniors' Vaccination Day
Friday, December 12th: Health Care Workers' Vaccination Day
At the current time, six influenza vaccine manufacturers are projecting that as many as 146 million doses of influenza vaccine will be available from currently licensed manufacturers in the U.S. for use during the 2008-09 influenza season. Because this will be the most flu vaccine ever distributed in the U.S. during a single influenza season, it appears that vaccine will be plentiful this year.