State health officials have launched a campaign to encourage Iowans to get the seasonal flu vaccine. The effort includes radio and TV ads focusing on the message “the flu ends with you.” Iowa Department of Public Health Immunization Bureau Chief Don Callaghan says the most effective way to stop the spread of the flu is to get the flu vaccine.
Last year, thousands of Iowans received a shot for the seasonal flu and another one for H1N1. “Last year was a nontypical year,” Callaghan said. “Iowans did very well receiving the seasonal flu and H1N1 (vaccine). We were slightly above the national average. However, we do need to make sure we receive the seasonal flu vaccine every year.” This year’s flu vaccine protects against two seasonal influenza strains and the H1N1 flu.
About 300,000 Iowans get the flu every year. Callaghan isn’t sure yet what this flu season will look like. “We’re not seeing a lot of flu cases nationally,” Callaghan said. “Usually the flu peaks here in Iowa in January or February.” The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of six months.
Callaghan says it’s especially important to be vaccinated if you have vulnerable people in your household such as babies, children with asthma and elderly people.
Listen to the flu ad here: Flu Ad :60 MP3