A December 20 news release from the Washington Department of Health (DOH) advises residents to get vaccinated against the flu immediately. DOH warns that the flu season is early, the flu is “spreading rapidly,” and “flu deaths are at higher rates than usually seen at this point in the year.” They report that by December 10, 40 people had died from the flu in the State, including three children.
Who should get vaccinated? DOH recommends anyone 6 months or older get vaccinated ASAP. The vaccine is especially important for people under 5 or over 65 and those who are pregnant, are immunocompromised, or have a chronic health condition. Although the vaccine won’t guarantee that you won’t get sick, it tends to reduce the spread of the disease and the severity of symptoms. This is especially important in our state with its strained hospital system.
This year’s flu vaccines provide protection against what is in 2022 the most common strain, influenza A (H3N2), which tends to produce more severe symptoms. You can get vaccinated at your local pharmacy, by your healthcare provider, or at medical clinics.
In addition, DOH recommends wearing a face mask, washing your hands frequently, and staying home if you are sick.
Find out more at KnockOutFlu.org.