REGION – Getting the flu vaccine is a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) as National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 5 -11) is quickly approaching.
Everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu shot this year, especially since COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. Flu and COVID-19 circulating together have the potential to create a serious medical situation for individuals and could put a lot of strain on our medical system. People of every age, including those in good health, are at risk of getting the flu. This is especially important for those people at high risk for complications from influenza, such as those with serious health conditions, the elderly, young children, those who are pregnant, and those with weakened immune systems.
Residents in Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon Counties can get a flu shot through their local health department. Many pharmacies and medical provider offices may also be offering the vaccine. Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu, to lessen the severity of flu if you do get it, and to protect those around you who cannot get a flu shot. Flu activity during the 2020-2021 season was very low, likely because of COVID-19 prevention measures1; however, now that more people are gathering with family and friends, it’s best to protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated. Flu vaccines protect against the flu, while COVID-19 vaccines protect against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Other tips to stay healthy this winter include:
- If you are sick, stay home to avoid getting others sick. o If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without a fever reducing medicine. If you are positive for COVID-19, the stay-at-home guidance is different.
- Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or appear ill.
- Wear a mask in indoor public settings, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. This will help protect against COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are good to use when soap and water are not available.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
- -Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and get as much rest as possible.
- People who have symptoms such as a cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, chills, headaches, body aches (possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting), should call their doctor.
- Check with your local health department or medical provider to see if there are other immunizations you need. We encourage residents to access our website at https://www.cmdhd.org/seasonal-flu-vaccine or call one of our offices at the numbers listed below for additional information or to make an appointment. Arenac County: (989) 846-6541, option 2 Isabella County: (989) 773-5921, option 2 Clare County: (989) 539-6731, option 2 Osceola County: (231) 832-5532, option 2 Gladwin County: (989) 426-9431, option 2 Roscommon County: (989) 366-9166, option 2