The Orange and Seminole County health departments are recognizing National Influenza Vaccination Week in the effort to remind everyone about the importance of getting a flu shot.
Officials said flu cases are increasing across Central Florida, and the flu vaccination can prevent the illness.
Officials said National Flu Week is being observed from December 8-14. Flu cases typically start increasing this time of year during travel and family gatherings during the holiday season, so officials said now is a good time to make sure you're protected with the flu shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine every year. Officials said that includes all children from babies to teens, parents, older adults and everyone who comes in contact with children.
In Florida, flu incidences usually peaks in February or March, officials said.
Officials said adults 65 years of age or older are more susceptible to complications from flu, so it is very important they protect themselves with a flu shot. Children younger than five years of age are also at higher risk of complications and should also get vaccinated.
"Influenza is a leading cause of mortality each year in the U.S. Influenza is a preventable disease in which protection can be provided through vaccination," said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County. "I strongly encourage citizens to get vaccinated today."
Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause the flu that particular year. This year's vaccine once again provides protection against the H1N1 (pandemic) influenza and up to three other flu virus strains, officials said.
Flu shots for children and adults are offered at the DOH-Orange's Central Health Center located at 832 West Central Boulevard, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve, walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary.
The immunization program is closed the second Friday of each month, officials said.
In Seminole County, flu shots for children and adults are available at the DOH-Seminole Sanford location at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on Thursdays, when the office closes at 11:30.