CHENANGO COUNTY – It’s that time a year again to start thinking about the flu! Although Chenango County has not yet seen the flu, now is the time to receive your flu vaccination. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. You should always aim to get your vaccination between September and the end of October. Once you receive your influenza vaccine, it takes your body about 2 weeks to build up protection. It is important to remember, you cannot contract the flu from the flu vaccine; there is no live virus in the vaccine.
The flu virus is more than just a really bad cold. Flu can lead to pneumonia, hospitalizations, and death. Children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk for severe complications. The CDC reports that in last year’s flu season “The vaccination prevented approximately 67,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations. In addition, influenza vaccination prevented an estimated 1.9 million illnesses and 966,000 medical visits associated with influenza.” The effect of lost wages associated with the flu virus is staggering. The CDC reports an average of $16.3 billion of lost earnings annually is due to the flu virus. This is because flu is more than just a cold and can create havoc for those who are sick. Even healthy people can be severely affected by the flu virus.