Hawaii Health officials: it’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate

February 22, 2011, 6:01 AM HST
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By Wendy Osher

Health officials in Hawaii say it’s not too late to vaccinate. While the number of people getting sick from the flu usually peaks in February, flu can be unpredictable. Health officials say flu in Hawaii may, at times, last through April and May.

With increased flu activity currently being reported on the mainland, Hawaii health authorities are advising the public to be prepared. The health department recommends everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated against the flu every year. Health officials also encourage those with greater risk of flu-complications to get vaccinated, including children younger than 5, pregnant women, those older than 65, and people with medical conditions including diabetes and asthma.

“It is also important to get the flu vaccine if you care for anyone in these high risk groups,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state Epidemiologist. “If you have contact with infants younger than 6 months it is important because these babies are too young to be vaccinated.”

Anyone can catch the flu, but health authorities say getting a flu vaccine is the single best way to protect the public.

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In addition to getting the flu vaccine, good health habits, such as covering coughs and washing hands, can help prevent the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses.

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Flu vaccines are available in many doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and clinics. For more information on where to get your flu shot, go to http://hawaii.gov/health/Immunization/index.html.

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