ACHI urges flu shots ahead of holidays
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With flu cases at “very high” levels in the state, a group of Arkansas medical advisors is urging people to get their flu vaccines sooner rather than later.
“The flu is ramping up early this year, nationally and in Arkansas,” the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement stated in a news release.
On Thursday, the ACHI urged Arkansans to get the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones during the holidays.
“We’re seeing a higher level of flu activity, both in cases and hospitalizations, than we’ve seen this early in the flu season in a long time,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. flu hospitalizations are higher than they have been at this point in the flu season in more than a decade.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported 50 flu-related hospital admissions in the last week.
So far, 9 people have died in Arkansas of influenza; 5 in the last 7 days.
“It takes a couple of weeks to receive maximum protection from a vaccination,” said Thompson, noting that Thanksgiving is two weeks away. “So, please, do not delay. Get your shot now.”
According to the ADH flu website, flu shots are available at each local health unit around the state. There is no out-of-pocket expense, but people are encouraged to bring their insurance cards.
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