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National Influenza Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 10, 2015

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391


DPHHS supports National Influenza Vaccination Week


The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is promoting National Influenza Vaccination Week to highlight the importance of anyone ages 6 months and older to get the influenza vaccine every year.

National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec 6-12, 2015) originated in 2005 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to emphasize the need for continual influenza vaccinations through the holiday season into January and beyond. In Montana, the flu season usually peaks in February and can last through May.The influenza vaccine is the best form of protection against the flu.

This vaccine can reduce flu illness, doctor’s visits, and missed work and school due to the flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. In addition to getting the influenza vaccine, proper hand washing and staying away from sick people can reduce the spread of germs.

It is important to remember that the influenza vaccine takes about two weeks to develop antibodies in the body, which provide protection against influenza. Individuals should take advantage of the availability of the vaccine in order to decrease their risk of becoming ill with the flu.

“Even if you received the vaccine last year, you should still get vaccinated this year,” said DPHHS Director Richard Opper. “Getting vaccinated now will help you and those around you to stay healthy this winter. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine! And, remember to protect yourself and others by staying home when you are ill and encouraging others to do the same.”

For more information about influenza vaccinations, contact your healthcare provider or your local, county, or tribal public health department. More information can also be found at the DPHHS website: www.dphhs.mt.gov