LEONARDTOWN, MD (September 23, 2020) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department recommends influenza (flu) vaccinations for community members over the age of six months. Annual vaccination in September or October provides optimal protection throughout the flu season.

“Getting vaccinated for flu and continuing infection prevention measures is important every season but is particularly critical this season,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “Decreasing the amount of flu virus going around our community helps reduce the burden on our healthcare system that is still actively responding to the COVID-19 virus.”

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting the flu. The flu vaccine is safe, effective, and readily available in the community – Call your healthcare provider or pharmacy for more information. While flu vaccination may not prevent flu infection in every person vaccinated, those who get flu despite being vaccinated typically have a milder illness of shorter duration.

Vaccination is especially important for those at higher risk of severe flu illness, including:

  • Children under the age of two
  • Persons 65 years of age and older
  • Pregnant women
  • Persons with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart, lung, or kidney disease

Persons who care for someone in these groups should also be sure to get vaccinated to avoid spreading the flu to them. This includes healthcare workers, caregivers, and those working in child care and school settings. 

For more information about the flu, including prevention tips and key differences from COVID-19, please visit: www.smchd.org/flu

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