Washington Dept. of Health encourages flu vaccination

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health is urging the public to get a flu vaccine this year. 

A release from the department said flu activity may be more common this year compared to last year. That is because closures that were in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have since been lifted. 

People are now more active and mobile, with many adults returning to in-person work and children back in school. 

“Preventing the spread of flu will be critical in the months to come because it will reduce the additional strain on our hospitals, which are currently extremely stressed due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, Chief Science Officer for WADOH. “If you haven’t received your flu vaccine yet, now is the perfect time. It will help protect you, your family and friends, and your community as we get back to doing the things we love.” 

Everyone six months and older are eligible for an annual flu shot. Young children, pregnant people, those with underlying health conditions and people 5 and older are at the highest risk for flu-related complications. 

The WADOH says the flu is highly contagious that can cause mild to severe illness, and lead to hospitalization and death. Flu illness is also more dangerous than the common cold for children. 

Getting a flu vaccine reduces the chance of getting the flu and it can be safely given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine.

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READ: Can I get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time?