NYC Health + Hospitals announced today the availability of flu vaccine at locations across New York City and urges New Yorkers six months and older to get vaccinated early in the season. Protection against the flu is not fully effective for up to 10 days after getting vaccinated, so delaying vaccination until flu season is declared may put individuals and those around them at risk of serious illness.
The flu is a serious, highly contagious, and sometimes deadly disease, and the severity of each season is unpredictable, making annual vaccination the best defense against illness. Flu virus can begin circulating as early as October and can last through May.
One indication that experts use in predicting the upcoming flu season is to look at the Southern Hemisphere, where winter and the flu season has just concluded. In Australia, the number of patients with flu was nearly double that of the preceding winter, making the importance of vaccination here this year greater.
“Thousands of New Yorkers die of flu and pneumonia, which often develops as a complication of the flu, each year,” said Machelle Allen, MD, chief medical officer, NYC Health + Hospitals. “Vaccination is easy, and it’s the first and best step in helping to protect yourself and those around you from the flu. NYC Health + Hospitals has ample doses of vaccine on hand at locations across the city for our patients, visitors, and staff. And if anyone tells you they caught the flu from the vaccination, it’s just not true. So vaccinate yourself today!”
All NYC Health + Hospitals facilities offer flu vaccination at no charge for patients, visitors, and staff. Find a location near you: http://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/locations read the healthy system’s five facts on fighting the flu: http://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/flufacts.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s flu vaccination rate has plateaued for adults and children over the last few seasons. Given the prospects of a possibly bad flu season, this is the year when everyone eligible should get vaccinated, and early.