We had previously reported that the week of December 8-14 is being recognized as National Influenza Vaccination Week.
We spoke to State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin who gave reasons why even the young and healthy should get vaccinated.
Dr. McLaughlin: “There are high risk groups such as the very old and the very young and pregnant women that are increased risk for severe consequences from the flu. You never know if you’re young and healthy and you get the flu, every now and again people that are young and healthy can develop severe consequences and occasionally healthy people do die from influenza.”
He went on to say if you do get sick though your symptoms may not be severe, that doesn’t mean that will be the case for others.
Dr. McLaughlin: “Certainly if you’re young and healthy and you’re kind of thinking twice about getting the flu vaccine, we would really encourage people to go ahead and get the vaccine because even though you may just have a very mild course of illness, you could infect somebody that is very old or very young or immune compromised in the grocery store or a friend that you bump into on the street, without even knowing it you could infect them and they may wind up having more severe consequences from influenza infection.”
Both the state and the Municipality of Anchorage are waiving the administration fee for flu vaccine through the end of December, making it more affordable for those who qualify. For more information contact the public health center near you.