Thursday, October 10, 2001
DPH issues Flu Shot recommendations
Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) advises people to get their flu shots, but not too early. “A flu shot doesn’t last forever, so it’s best to wait until mid-October or November to get vaccinated,” said Steven P. Dettwyler, director of DPH’s Immunization Program. “This helps ensure that you will be protected against the disease throughout Delaware’s flu season, which begins in November and can last into April.” Those at highest risk for influenza complications should receive vaccines first, in mid to late October.

The high-risk category includes individuals who:
• are 65 or older or
• have chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems.

Others at lower levels of risk for influenza complications should receive vaccinations in November or early December.

This group includes:
• Individuals 50 to 65 years of age.
• Children and teens on long-term aspirin therapy.
• Women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
• Healthcare workers providing services to at-risk individuals.
• Those who reside in households with at-risk individuals.

Most people who get the flu recover completely in one or two weeks, but some develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. DPH recommends that Delawareans, particularly those age 65 and older, receive the pneumococcal vaccine for pneumonia at the same time as the flu vaccine. For more information about Public Health flu clinics, call DPH’s Immunization Program at (800) 282-8672.