HINGHAM — The Town of Hingham and the Hingham Health Department would like to encourage residents to get the annual flu vaccine.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot every year with rare exceptions. Different influenza vaccines are approved for different age groups. The Hingham Health Department is encouraging residents to work with their healthcare providers so that they receive the vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health status. Vaccination against the flu can keep you, your family and the community healthy.
Residents should receive the vaccine before the beginning of flu season. In the region, flu season typically peaks December to February, but the virus can circulate through May. For most people who need only one dose of influenza vaccine for the season, vaccination should ideally be by the end of October. Although vaccination by the end of October is recommended, vaccine administered in December or later is still better than not being vaccinated at all. It is never too late to get a flu shot!
For the 2022-2023 flu season, three high dose flu vaccines are recommended for people 65 years or older. People in this age group tend to have complications, hospitalizations and deaths due to the flu and need the added protection. Residents should consult with their healthcare provider on which vaccine is best for them and where they can access the shot.
You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Some minor side effects like soreness at the injection site, low-grade fever and achiness may occur but will resolve quickly. Flu viruses are constantly changing so the vaccine is updated from one season to the next to protect against viruses that research suggests will be common during the upcoming flu season. Your protection from the vaccine declines over time so a yearly vaccine is needed for the best protection.
Public Health experts are concerned this year about flu cases amid the highly contagious COVID-19 variant. It is vitally important that people take every measure to protect themselves and their family against both. Being up to date on both the COVID vaccination as well as receiving an annual flu vaccine is one of the most important steps a person can take.
For more information, contact the Hingham Health Department at 781-741-1466.