For Immediate Release: November 7, 2022
Ben Truman │ Vermont Department of Health
802-316-2117 / 802-863-7281
Now is the Time to Get Your Flu Shot
Being up to date on vaccinations is the best way to stay healthy for the holidays
BURLINGTON, VT – As experts predict a severe flu season across the country, state health officials are urging Vermonters to take steps now to protect themselves and those at higher risk by getting their flu shot, along with the updated COVID-19 booster.
Everyone 6 months and older (with certain exceptions) should get their flu shot, and the COVID-19 and flu vaccines can be given at the same time. Both vaccines are available at walk-in clinics, pharmacies and health care providers. However, flu shots offered at state-run walk-in clinics are for people under age 65. Anyone 65 and older should get the high-dose flu vaccine through their health care provider or local pharmacy.
“Don’t wait to get your flu shot and COVID-19 booster,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “Late fall ushers in the cold and flu season, and viruses can spread quickly. As Vermonters spend more time indoors, we expect to see an increase in respiratory illnesses and hospitalizations.”
Dr. Levine said that with the holidays fast approaching and as people plan gatherings with friends and family, getting vaccinated now is important. “The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to be fully effective — and remember that not everyone can get vaccinated, especially infants. So, I strongly encourage everyone to get their shots as soon as possible to keep themselves and their families healthy.”
Flu activity in Vermont is currently low but expected to increase in the coming weeks. Nationally, rates of influenza-like illnesses and hospitalizations are trending higher than usual this early in the season. As of Nov. 3, more than 170,000 Vermonters have already gotten their flu shot, but that number is slightly lower than this time last year.
“Here’s the key to having a healthy holiday and winter season: Get your flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster as soon as you can — both are expected to be good matches to meet the strains currently circulating — and take the easy steps to prevent the spread of germs,” said Dr. Levine.
- Get your flu shot (age 6 months and older) and updated COVID-19 booster (age 5 and older).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your nose when you cough and sneeze.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Take antiviral medications if your doctor prescribes them.
Vermonters can contact their local pharmacies and health care providers to schedule their vaccinations, or visit healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine for state-run walk-in clinics. State-run clinics have vaccine and prevention information in multiple languages and for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
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