Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2010

CONTACT
Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356
Leah.bucco-white@nebraska.gov

Celebrate the Holidays, Flu-Free

It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week

Note: Sound bites on this topic is available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx

Lincoln – Gearing up for the holidays? Don’t let a bout with the flu leave you stuck in bed instead of celebrating with family.

“Holiday gatherings are ideal for spreading flu and other nasty viruses,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “Getting a flu vaccine is an easy and effective way to help keep you healthy and on-the-go during this festive season.”

This year the recommendation is everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated.

While flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications, and it’s extremely important they receive vaccine:

  • Older people         
  • Young children
  • 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
  • Pregnant women

Flu vaccine provides protection that lasts through the entire season. You aren’t likely to get sick from the virus, and staying healthy means you won’t infect your family.

Flu vaccine is safe, effective and rigorously tested. It’s updated each season to protect against flu viruses that research shows will cause the most illness. Even if you got the H1N1 flu vaccine last season, you’ll want to get this year’s flu vaccine. H1N1 is included but so are two other flu viruses, H3N2 and influenza B. You’ll want to be protected against all three. One shot - triple protection.

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.

If you’re interested in flu vaccine, contact your health care provider or local health department. For a list of local health departments go to http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/puh_oph_lhd.aspx.  

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 information on flu, go to http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/flu.aspx.

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