Newsroom > DHHS News Release

Dec. 5, 2011

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356

Stay One Step Ahead of the Flu

It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week
Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at:
Lincoln – There’s only one direction flu activity will go and that’s up according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Only two cases have been reported to DHHS so far which means there’s still time to get vaccinated, build immunity and stay one step ahead of the flu.

“Getting your flu vaccine is about more than protecting yourself,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. “It protects friends and family members with certain health conditions who can’t afford to get the flu.”

While flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications, and it’s extremely important they receive vaccine:          
  • Young children
  • Older people
  • Pregnant women
  • People with cancer, chronic lung disease (like asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, HIV or AIDS, morbid obesity, neurologic conditions and certain other long-term health conditions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.

Flu vaccine is safe, effective and rigorously tested. Remember, it’s a myth that you can get flu from the shot. The most common reaction is soreness and redness at the injection site. If you don’t like needles, FluMist is a nasal spray available for healthy people 2-49 years old.

Here are some additional things you can do to protect yourself:
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home from work, family gatherings and social functions if you’re sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands
  • Eat healthy and get plenty of rest
  • Don’t smoke
For more flu information, visit the DHHS website at