The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Arkansas Pharmacists Association (APA) urge unvaccinated people to get their flu shots during National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 9-13.
According to ADH's Comprehensive Influenza Report and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) FluView surveillance, the number of reported influenza cases increased greatly during the 2012-2013 influenza season. ADH's Jennifer Dillaha, M.D., Medical Director for Immunizations, said, “Arkansas's 2011-2012 influenza season was the worst flu season in over 30 years. During last year's flu season, we had a higher rate of flu-related deaths in children than any state in the nation.”
The vaccine takes about two weeks to provide full protection.
“It's not too late to get a flu shot,” added Dr. Eric Crumbaugh, Immunization Coordinator for the Arkansas Pharmacists Association. “Patients who still need a flu shot should talk to their doctor, visit an ADH local health unit or other health care provider such as their pharmacist. Most pharmacies have plenty of vaccine available and there is no appointment needed.”
For more information, go to www.healthy.arkansas.gov or www.flu.gov.