The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is recommending West Virginians ages 6-months and older to be vaccinated against the flu as the season approaches, as well as encouraging COVID-19 vaccination and Omicron boosters shots.
“With COVID-19 continuing to circulate and affect West Virginians, the flu shot not only helps protect you and your family, but also those in our most vulnerable population, including young children, pregnant women, adults 65-years and older, as well as those with chronic health conditions,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, acting state health officer and commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “We all need to make a commitment to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the use of higher dose vaccines for adults 65 years and older; however, if these vaccines are not available at the time of administration, individuals should receive a standard-dose flu vaccine. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines may be taken at the same time. The best time to get vaccinated is before the end of October, but even if a person doesn’t get a flu shot before the end of October, one can still get vaccinated through fall and winter.
In addition to getting a flu shot, Dr. Amjad recommended additional preventive steps to fight the flu:
- Wash one’s hands frequently, cover one’s cough and sneeze into a sleeve if a tissue is not available.
- Wipe down frequently touched surfaces with a disinfectant.
- Stay home when a person is sick.
Flu symptoms include quick onset of fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and dry cough. Persons who may be suffering from influenza-like symptoms should consult their medical provider.
“By increasing the number of people vaccinated for both flu and COVID-19, we can reduce the number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths this fall and winter,” added Dr. Amjad. “Additionally, we can help lessen the strain on hospitals by getting vaccinated.”
Visit the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator at https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/Vaccine.aspx, a free, online tool that helps individuals figure out when they may be due for a COVID-19 shot or booster, making it easier to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccination. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, or to find a vaccine, visit vaccines.gov or vaccinate.wv.gov, or call 1-833-734-0965.