Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
December 1, 2016

Judi Yorges, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-6585

There’s Still Time to Get Your Flu Shot
It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week – December 4 – 10, 2016

Lincoln—The best line of defense is a good offense, and that’s getting a flu shot before flu activity increases according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  Nebraska is starting to see an increase in the number of flu cases, as we just entered the sporadic activity level. But there’s still time to get vaccinated, build immunity and stay one step ahead of the flu. 

You can also protect yourself from the flu by:

  • Washing your hands often
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home from work, family gatherings and social functions if you’re sick 
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands
  • Eating healthy and get plenty of rest
  • Don’t smoke

“There is only one direction for flu activity to go and that’s up. Getting your flu vaccine is about more than protecting yourself,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist 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
  • Adults 65 years of age or older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic lung disease (like asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions and certain other long-term health conditions
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Vaccination plays a critical role in the fight against the flu. It can reduce flu-related illnesses, visits to the doctor, missed work and school and flu-related hospitalizations.

Flu vaccine is safe, effective and rigorously tested. Only injectable flu vaccine is recommended this season. The nasal spray flu vaccine should not be used due to concerns about its effectiveness according to the CDC. The most common reaction people may experience from a flu shot is soreness and redness at the injection site. After vaccination, it takes about two weeks for the body to build immunity.

For more flu information, visit the DHHS website at or the CDC website at

Follow us on Twitter - @NEDHHS or like us on Facebook – If you’ve got your flu shot, let us know. Post or tweet a photo with the #GotMyFluVax hashtag.