AMA encourages everyone six months and older to get vaccinated against flu | CraigDailyPress.com

AMA encourages everyone six months and older to get vaccinated against flu

Craig Press staff report

Health care providers say that getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect against the flu.

Flu season has begun, and Florida health officials confirmed an unvaccinated Florida child as the first flu-related death of the season.

The American Medical Association encourages everyone six months and older to be vaccinated against the flu, ideally by the end of October.

"Every eligible American should get their flu vaccine as soon as possible, because we know it's the most effective way to protect against the flu and its potentially serious complications,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. “The flu vaccine is particularly effective in reducing flu illness, doctor's visits, missed work and school, and at preventing flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. It's also a proven way to significantly reduce a child's risk of influenza-associated death.”

Estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show last year's flu season was the worst in recent history, with 80,000 people dying from the flu and associated complications.

“It's important that we do everything we can this year to keep history from repeating itself. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the public against the spread of flu. It also saves lives — especially vulnerable populations who aren't eligible for vaccination, such as babies younger than six months and people who are allergic to the vaccine,” McAneny said.

Flu shots are being offered locally by most providers and clinics, as well as some pharmacies. Special flu clinics, events, and information are also regularly available. Check the latest edition of Craig Press, or visit online at craigdailypress.com, then either search “flu” or click and scroll through the health page.

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"The AMA fully supports the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are among the most effective and safest interventions to both prevent individual illness and protect the health of the public,” McAneny said. “The AMA will continue its work to promote public understanding and confidence in the use of vaccines to prevent a resurgence of vaccine-preventable illnesses and deaths."