Governor, Health Commissioner Get Annual Flu Shots
Tennesseans Encouraged to Get Annual Flu Vaccines Now
JACKSON – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH rolled up their sleeves and received their annual flu shots today in Jackson. Immunization against the flu is important to the community as it not only protects those receiving the vaccine, but also family, friends and coworkers.
“A flu shot is one of the easiest steps you can take each year to keep yourself healthy during flu season,” Governor Haslam said. “Flu shots are readily available across Tennessee and getting one can protect you and others around you, especially those who may be more susceptible to the flu.”
Flu vaccine for the upcoming flu season is available now in many locations across the state, including county health departments, medical clinics and pharmacies. The Tennessee Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge annual flu vaccination for everyone over six months of age. It’s also extremely important for pregnant women to be vaccinated to protect their unborn children.
“We know getting a flu shot is the best protection we have against the flu,” Dreyzehner said. “Every year we see severe illness and death caused by flu in Tennessee, so please get a flu shot to protect others around you who are more vulnerable to flu, like babies, pregnant moms and seniors. Healthy people can get very sick too, so you’ll also be protecting yourself.”
After getting your flu vaccination, it’s still important to practice good health habits to protect yourself from the flu and other viruses, and to prevent spreading them to others if you do get sick. Good health habits include frequent hand washing with soapy water or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue. People who are sick should stay home to recover and to prevent spreading illness to co-workers, friends and others.
“Flu activity can begin as early as October and continue until May, so it’s important to be prepared and get your flu shot now,’’ Dreyzehner said. ‘’A flu shot does not start to work immediately and usually takes about two weeks before it is fully effective in protecting you from the flu.’’
For more on the benefits of getting a flu vaccine this year visit www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm.
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.