The North Dakota Department of Health is reminding all North Dakotans of the importance of getting vaccinated against the flu, according to Amy Schwartz, immunization surveillance coordinator for the Department of Health.
“There is plenty of flu vaccine this year, so we are urging everyone to get vaccinated to avoid influenza, regardless of age or health status,” Schwartz said. “Getting vaccinated is the easiest and most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. Even if you don’t feel the need to be vaccinated to protect yourself, everyone is close to someone who is at high risk for complications due to influenza, so you still should be vaccinated.”
In North Dakota, influenza activity begins in the fall and typically peaks in March or April. Health officials say that people can get vaccinated anytime during the influenza season, but the best time to get vaccinated is now, when flu activity is low. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 6 months and older be vaccinated against the flu, especially the following people at high risk for complications:
- All children ages 6 months through 4 years
- All adults 50 and older
- Residents of long-term care facilities
- People of any age who have long-term health problems, such as:
- Heart disease.
- Lung disease.
- Kidney disease.
- Weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS and cancer treatments.
- Breathing problems due to neuromuscular disorders.
- Pregnant women
- American Indians/Alaska Natives
- People who are morbidly obese
People who could spread the disease to those at high risk – such as health-care workers, out-of-home caregivers, parents and caregivers of infants younger than 6 months and household contacts – also should be vaccinated.
Fargo Cass Public Health will be holding a Flu Shot Friday on October 25, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for everyone ages six months and up. Please bring your Medicare and insurance cards. The cost of the flu shot this year is $36.00. Fargo Cass Public Health also has vaccine available by appointment, call 241-1383 to schedule your vaccination.
Fargo Cass Public Health is located at 401 3rd Avenue North, Fargo. For more information, go to www.fighttheflu.net.