Are You Ready for Flu Season?
Editor's Note: For no-cost flu vaccinations at Columbia, visit Columbia Health's "Flu Season Information."
New York Governor Kathy Hochul released a new public service announcement (PSA) encouraging New Yorkers to get both a flu and COVID-19 vaccine this season. The COVID-19 vaccine and/or a booster dose can be received at the same time as the seasonal flu shot. Flu season occurs primarily from October through May, often peaking between December and February.
"Vaccination is the best defense against both the flu and COVID-19," said Hochul. "Getting vaccinated is not just about protecting yourself, it also protects people around you. I urge all New Yorkers to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their family, friends and coworkers from both the flu and COVID-19 viruses."
The State Health Department recommends that everyone six months of age or older receive an influenza vaccination. The vaccine is especially important for people at high risk for complications from influenza, including children under age 2, pregnant women and adults over age 65. People with preexisting conditions such as asthma and heart disease are also at greater risk, as are individuals with weakened immune systems due to disease or medications such as chemotherapy or chronic steroid use. Since influenza virus can spread easily by coughing or sneezing, it is also important that family members and people in regular contact with high-risk individuals get an influenza vaccine.