National Influenza Vaccine Week runs from Dec. 4-8
Submitted by the Niagara County Department of Health
The Niagara County Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize the importance of receiving an annual influenza (flu) vaccine this year as part of National Influenza Vaccine Week (Dec. 4-8). Everyone 6 months and older should get their annual flu vaccine now to protect themselves and their loved ones before the flu activity peaks.
According to the CDC weekly Fluview report, there has been an estimated 1.8 million cases of flu illness, 17,000 hospitalizations and 1,100 deaths nationally this season (as of Nov. 25, 2023). Locally, flu cases have increased across Niagara County with the total amount of cases to date this season nearly doubling in this last week. To date, almost 70% of reported flu cases in Niagara County were individuals aged less than 50 years and 18% of cases were those aged 0-4 years.
Flu vaccines can reduce the risk of flu illnesses by 40%-60% in the general population and can reduce someone’s risk of severe symptoms and flu-associated hospitalization. One study looked at children and adolescents from 2022-23 in the U.S. and found that flu vaccination reduced the risk of flu-related emergency department and urgent care visits and hospitalizations by almost half (40%-48%).
“Vaccines against respiratory illnesses are the best way to protect yourself and your families against the anticipated surge of these illnesses over winter months,” said Daniel J. Stapleton, public health director. “It is not too late to get vaccinated this season – please get your flu, COVID-19 and RSV vaccines (if eligible) today to prevent the potentially severe consequences of respiratory illnesses this holiday season.”
Vaccination against the flu, COVID-19 and RSV are especially important for those who are at higher risk of developing complications, including young children, pregnant people, those with chronic health conditions, and adults 65 and older.
The Niagara County Department of Health offers flu vaccinations, as well as COVID-19 vaccinations, at our public clinics with details shared regularly on our website and our Facebook page. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended. Please bring your health insurance/health benefit card with you.
To promote participation in National Influenza Vaccine Week, Niagara County Department of Health will be offering a free health kit (tote bag with Lysol, hand sanitizing products, facial tissues, and face masks) at our vaccination clinics while supplies last.
Vaccination clinics are scheduled for:
√ Royalton-Hartland High School cafeteria, from 3-7 pm. Wednesday, Dec. 6
√ House of One Faith Holiness Church in Lockport, from 3-7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7
To learn more about other vaccine providers near you, please visit: www.vaccines.gov.
Flu Shots for Those Who’ve Had the Flu
Both the Erie County Department of Health and the Niagara County Department of Health confirmed a flu shot can be administered to a person who has had the flu this season.
The ECDOH noted, “As there are different flu strains/variants circulating, getting a seasonal flu vaccine even after a lab-confirmed flu test can still have a protective benefit. Individuals with specific questions should talk to their doctor.”