Guest post by Florida Surgeon General John H. Armstrong, MD, FACS
Every day, I join 17,000 health professionals in the Department of Health by rolling up my sleeves to continue our work to improve the health of Floridians. On one of these days each fall, I roll up my sleeve to get vaccinated against the flu.
The flu is more than just an inconvenient cold. It’s a serious illness that can cause mild to severe symptoms and may even lead to death. The flu affects both children and adults of all ages, yet getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to safeguard yourself, your family, and your community from the consequences of flu. During this holiday season, you want to share happy moments with family and friends, not the flu.
The flu vaccination changes each year, so you need to get a new shot annually to be protected. Think of it as a holiday gift to yourself and your family!
If you still haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, no worries–if you get your vaccination now, you’ll still be protected during the holidays, as well as the peak flu months of January and February.
As Floridians, the health of our state is in our own hands. Exercising healthy habits, such as regular and thorough hand washing, getting appropriately vaccinated and staying home when you’re sick can keep Florida’s communities flu-free throughout the holidays and year-round.
I encourage you and all Floridians, as soon as possible, to roll up your own sleeves, just for a brief moment, to get a flu shot and a full year of protection.