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CDC: Flu Shots More Effective If Given Before Holidays

September 4, 2013

Originally published Nov. 21, 2011

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are encouraging Georgians to get their seasonal flu vaccine before heading off to join families and friends during Thanksgiving and other festivities. Flu season has been underway since October and will likely continue until May.

According to CDC, the flu vaccination is best before December to ensure that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest.

“The flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu,” said J. Patrick O’Neal, MD, Director of Health Protection for the Georgia Department of Public Health. “You can protect yourself and your loved ones. If you do get the flu, remember your basic hygiene and wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home when you’re sick.”

“There are no confirmed flu cases in Georgia as of mid November,” said Cherie Drenzek, DVM, MS, State Epidemiologist.

Annually, health officials recommend that persons over six months get vaccinated every flu season. The Department is reminding high risk groups to get the flu vaccines: pregnant women, children younger than five, but especially children younger than two years old; Georgians 50 years of age and older; Georgians of any age with certain chronic medical conditions including asthma; Georgians living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; healthcare professionals and home caregivers.

In all 159 Georgia counties, local health departments are administering flu vaccine. To locate your nearest health department, visit, www.health.state.ga.us.

If you are searching for other locations to get your flu shot, try the Flu Vaccine Locator to locate vaccine in your area.