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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the worldwide flu pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. More recently, last year’s 2017-2018 flu season was record-breaking statewide with 4,650 Coloradans hospitalized with flu, including 1,085 residents from Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. As flu season gets underway this fall, Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) encourages all residents aged six months and older to get a flu vaccine as early as possible, ideally during October.
“Given the seriousness of flu illness, getting an annual flu vaccine every fall is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health and the health of people around you,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “This year the flu vaccine has been updated and there are more vaccine choices.”
Consumers should know there are flu vaccines available that contain three or four flu A and B types, which are designed to ensure good protection again the flu strains that could cause illness this year. In addition, the flu nasal spray is available for healthy people aged 2 to 49 years. People with egg allergies can also be protected with a flu vaccination. Check with your healthcare provider to determine which vaccine will work for you.
“Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show that approximately 49% of pregnant women received a flu vaccine last year in the U.S., as well as 58% of children, and 78% of healthcare workers. That still leaves substantial gaps in vaccine coverage in our communities, especially among vulnerable populations like pregnant women, seniors, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions. When flu spreads easily, these individuals suffer the consequences. Everyone benefits when flu vaccination is high,” Douglas said.
TCHD provides flu vaccinations for those on Medicaid or uninsured at the department’s immunization clinics throughout Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. For more information visit www.tchd.org/flu or call the Immunization hotline at 303-451-0123. To find flu vaccines at retail outlets, visit www.vaccinefinder.org or speak with your healthcare provider.
Tri-County Health Department serves over 1.5 million people in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. It provides over 60 programs and services including birth certificates, immunizations, food/WIC, restaurant inspections, family planning, STI/HIV Testing and infectious disease investigations. For more information, please visit www.tchd.org or follow us on Twitter @TCHDHealth or Facebook @cotchd