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Sept. 27, 2012
TOPEKA State health officials today warned that flu season is upon us and encouraged Kansans to get vaccinated, if not for their own benefit, then for the sake of their family and community.
“By getting your flu vaccine before you see or hear about the first case of flu in your community, you give yourself and your family the best opportunity to stay flu-free throughout the season,” said Ryan Burns, immunizations director at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
“Although influenza can occur at any time, October is often thought of as the start of flu season, so acting now is a great way to get that protection,” he said. It takes about two weeks for the body to develop resistance to the flu virus after a vaccination.
Officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot annually. Some children age 6 months to 8 years may need two shots this year.
Flu shots are widely available at local health departments and many doctors' offices and pharmacies. This map identifies vaccine availability by area.
Every year, 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu complications and about 36,000 people die from flu. Some people — including infants, children, elders and people with certain health conditions — are at high risk for serious flu complications.
Find more information on vaccines and the flu at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy making environment. Find more about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at (785) 783-2529.