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Get Your Flu Shot Today

By Dain Weister

October 08, 2014

Fight the Flu: Get Your Flu Shot Today 

The Florida Department of Health in Orange (DOH-Orange) and Seminole (DOH-Seminole) Counties is urging everyone to get a seasonal flu shot today. Flu cases have started to increase in Central Florida, which is typical this time of year, and the flu vaccine can prevent the illness. 

“Flu shots are important, and they can reduce absences at work, school, and social events; reduce healthcare costs; and most importantly, save lives”, said Lesli Ahonkhai, Assistant Director of the Department of Health in Orange County.

 “Flu can cause severe illness even in otherwise healthy individuals. Even mild cases can lead to several days of missed school or work due to the extreme fatigue the disease causes, said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for the Department of Health in Seminole County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend flu vaccine for all people 6 months of age and older. A flu shot is especially important for people at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications and their close contacts. Because influenza viruses change every year, getting an annual flu shot is very important. This year the Florida Department of Health is urging everyone to get their vaccine before Halloween. While most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than 2 weeks, some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, which can be fatal.

Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause the flu that particular year.  This year’s vaccine once again provides protection against the H1N1 (pandemic) influenza and up to three other flu virus strains.    

It can take up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That is why it is important to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.

Flu shots for children and adults are offered at the DOH-Orange’s Central Health Center located at 832 West Central Boulevard, Monday through Friday from 7:30am- 2:00pm on a first-come, first-serve walk in basis. No appointment is necessary.  The immunization program is closed the 2nd Friday of each month. 

 In Seminole County, flu shots for children and adults are available at the DOH-Seminole Sanford location at 400 West Airport Boulevard by appointment Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for the 2nd Thursday of each month, when the office closes at 11:30. Flu shots are free in both counties for children 6 months through 18 years of age.