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Influenza Vaccination Week promotes flu shots

File Photo
Bonnie-Jean Hudson, child health nursing supervisor at the Clayton County Board of Health, prepares a flu shot. National Influenza Vaccination Week starts on Sunday.

File Photo Bonnie-Jean Hudson, child health nursing supervisor at the Clayton County Board of Health, prepares a flu shot. National Influenza Vaccination Week starts on Sunday.

The flu season began in August, but it’s not too late for people to get vaccinated, according to a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Stephanie Nguyen said National Influenza Vaccination Week will begin on Sunday, Dec. 4, to promote the importance of flu vaccinations, which is the best way to avoid the malady, and potential serious complications.

National Influenza Vaccination Week, Nguyen said, can help boost the state’s standing. Now, 40.5 percent of Georgians have not been gotten flu shots, ranking the state near the bottom in preventive action.

“People of every race, class and environment are equally susceptible to flu infection,” said Steven Mitchell, immunization director for the Georgia Department of Public Health. “The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone, six months and older, receive a flu shot.”

He said people who don’t receive a flu shot are susceptible to needless infections annually.

Lack of communication between patients and doctors are partly to blame, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. A recent survey by the CDC, added Nguyen, show only 40.5 percent of Georgians got the flu shot in 2010-2011. Within this category, the state ranks 40 out of the 50 states, she said.

“The CDC recommends that everyone get to a doctor’s office, pharmacy or health department, and invest in good health through vaccination this winter,” she said.

Jill Bolton, county nurse manager for the Henry County Health Department, said if people have not been vaccinated by this time, they may catch the flu during the holiday season. Mainly because a person is surrounded by more people in different events such as holiday parties, and holiday shopping.

The weather is getting colder and an immune system may be lower at this time because of the change, she added. A vaccination will boost it.

“The main thing we want to stress is that you will be around a large amount of people [during the holiday season],” said Bolton.

She said the Henry County Health Department has plenty of flu vaccinations.

Joel Hall, spokesman for the Clayton County Board of Health, said Clayton County also has ample flu vaccinations for residents.

He said the flu season is at its start, and will heighten at the end of January and early February. “Getting a flu shot before you contract the flu is a way to prevent something unnecessary,” he said.

People can get a flu shot on weekdays from 8 a.m., to 4 p.m., at the Clayton County Board of Health, 1117 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro ,or the Henry County Department of Health’s McDonough Office, 135 Henry Parkway.

The flu season ends in May, added Nguyen.

For more information on immunization, visits http://health.state.ga.us/programs/immunization.