MICHIGAN - While the nation is still uncertain about when a vaccine for the coronavirus will come, many are taking precautions against a more predictable virus.
About 2.4 million people in Michigan have received their vaccines for the flu this year. That is more than halfway toward the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services goal of 4.2 million vaccinations.
Last year, around 3.2 million Michiganders got their flu vaccinations. Michigan wanted a 33 percent increase in vaccinations this season to help reduce the number of people in hospitals.
MDHHS Chief Deputy and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said that the current number of vaccinations is great news, but Michiganders should be getting their vaccine as soon as they can.
“Influenza can be deadly and getting the flu vaccine is a step we can take to protect against it,” said Khaldun. “Every flu-related hospitalization we see this season will put an additional strain on our hospitals that are already dealing with a surge of COVID-19 patients.”
Health officials recommend a flu vaccine once every year for everyone over the age of 6 months. It is strongly recommended that people with pre-existing conditions get a vaccine to help reduce the risk of death or serious illness.
Another way to reduce the risk of the flu along with the vaccine is to follow similar preventative measures as preventing COVID-19. It is recommended to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face, try to avoid coming into contact with people who are sick and make sure you are getting lots of sleep and water. Using a mask in public will help to decrease the spread of both the coronavirus and the flu.
Most pharmacies in the area offer flu shots with no appointment necessary, including Walgreens and Rite Aid. You can also ask for a flu shot at your next doctor’s appointment.
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