Avoid the gift that no one wants, the flu

The flu is highly contagious and can make even healthy people very sick. Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone six months and older. It’s especially important for people at high-risk – such as young kids; people 65 and older; pregnant women; and people with chronic conditions, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and neurologic conditions. Babies under six months are too young to get vaccinated. People in close contact with babies should get vaccinated to protect the infants.

Some kids under nine may need two doses about a month apart. All recommended immunizations, including flu vaccines, are given at no cost for all kids in our state through age 18. Most health plans cover flu vaccinations for adults. For more resources call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

Flu vaccines are available at many locations including health care professional’s offices, pharmacies, and some local health agencies. Check the flu vaccine finder to find out where to get flu vaccine in your community.

Don’t let the flu spoil your holiday plans. Get vaccinated now to help protect you, your loved ones, and your community through the holidays and the rest of flu season. Watch our flu video with Washington families talking about why they get vaccinated each year. It also features Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

The Department of Health website (doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.