GENERIC: Flu vaccine

Flu season is off to its earliest start in years.

Michigan may be one of the least protected states against it.

The last time flu season started early in Michigan was 2003 and it was one of the worst on record.

Michigan ranks 38th for flu vaccination coverage.

“It’s important that everyone know if they have not gotten their flu shot yet, it is not too late,” said Tawnya Simone, with the Saginaw County Health Department.

The department encourages everyone who has yet to get their flu shot to get one while there is still time.

The encouragement comes after a recent report that shows Michigan falling below the national average of flu vaccinations.

“The biggest misconception is that the flu shot doesn’t protect individuals from the flu or that the flu shot causes the flu,” Simone said.

Experts said people are contagious up to one day before they show symptoms. By the time they discover they’re sick, they’ve already been contagious and are able to infect others.

“It is very important that everyone gets the flu shot that can,” Simone said.

It is especially important for those who are most vulnerable.

“High priority would be infants, those with chronic health conditions, those that are pregnant, and of course anyone else that wants to get the flu shot,” Simone said.

Despite Michigan falling short of flu vaccinations, officials said there is plenty of vaccines to go around.

“Vaccine is inadequate supply so those who want the flu shot should get it. Those who have not gotten it need to know that it’s not too late and they can still get it,” Simone said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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