LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 15, 2012) -- It's time to get your flu vaccine! While there is little flu activity right now, flu activity is expected to increase in the coming weeks to months.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone aged six months and older get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine protects against the three flu viruses research indicates will cause the most illness during the upcoming season.
Beginning October 22 and continuing through the first week of November, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is providing seasonal flu vaccine at mass flu clinics in every county. A mass flu clinic is a day-long event during which the community comes together to immunize as many people as possible. ADH staff, health professionals and volunteers work as a team to provide vaccine. Some clinics offer "drive-throughs" - you don't even leave your car.
A complete list of sites is posted on line at http://1.usa.gov/PmttCh.
Flu is a sickness that infects the nose, throat and lungs and is caused by the influenza virus. If you're young and healthy, the flu vaccine should be 60 to 90 percent effective in preventing illness.
Dr. Paul Halverson, state health officer and ADH director, said, "Getting an annual flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu."
Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu. This includes older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and persons who live in facilities like nursing homes.