There’s still time to get vaccinated for the flu

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, a nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, wants people to know flu season is in full swing, but there’s still time to get vaccinated.

National Influenza Vaccination Week is observed Dec. 5-11 to promote the importance of the flu vaccine and remind people that flu season extends through winter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity often peaks from December to February, but significant activity can last as late as May.   

“The best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu is to get vaccinated,” said Janice Hixson, OKCIC’s chief medical officer. “An annual vaccination is recommended because a person’s immune protection declines over time. Flu viruses also change frequently, so the vaccine composition is reviewed and updated each year based on which virus is making people sick.”

According to the CDC, flu vaccination has also been shown to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated and reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization. Getting vaccinated also reduces the risk of spreading the flu to others around you who are immunocompromised or too young for the flu vaccine. “The flu can be a serious disease, especially among children or adults with chronic health conditions,” said Hixson. “Getting vaccinated is a far safer choice than risking illness.”

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, with rare exceptions. OKCIC’s flu clinic is open to active patients by appointment only. To schedule your appointment, call 405-948-4900. Many pharmacies and local health departments offer flu vaccines. Find one nearby using VaccineFinder at vaccines.gov.

The flu can be very serious, but getting vaccinated can reduce your risk of illness. National Influenza Vaccination Week is a great opportunity to get your annual vaccination.