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WellSpan Health To Begin Offering Flu Vaccines Next Week

WellSpan Health To Begin Offering Flu Vaccines Next Week

Flu vaccinations will once again be offered at WellSpan Health primary care practices and pharmacies beginning on Tuesday, September 6. Patients can begin scheduling appointments today using MyWellSpan or calling their office or pharmacy. You do not need to be an existing WellSpan patient to schedule a flu vaccine appointment.

"As we head into fall, now is the time to get your shot and protect yourself from the upcoming flu season," said Dr. Mark Goedecker, WellSpan Health vice president and chief medical officer for primary care. "The flu is a very serious illness that can pose real risks, especially to the very young, the elderly and those with underlying conditions. Getting vaccinated is the first step to preventing not only getting the flu yourself, but also spreading it to those you love."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that, while relatively mild, the last flu season caused between 8 million to 13 million illnesses. It resulted in as many as 6 million medical visits, 170,000 hospitalizations, and 14,000 deaths in the U.S. 

An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits, including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and the risk of flu-related death in children. It also helps to prevent the spread of flu to family and friends, including babies younger than 6 months who are too young to get a flu vaccine. 

The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone ages 6 months and older. Pregnant women should get a vaccine to protect mom and baby.  

In addition to getting the vaccine, doctors recommend following other practices to protect yourself.

"We can take a very valuable lesson from the recent past," Goedecker says. "During the pandemic, the health practices most of us were following – washing our hands, covering our mouths when we cough, keeping our distance when we are ill, wearing a mask when we were sick or around others who were – helped to tamp down the flu season. Those practices are still very applicable to the upcoming cold weather months when we spend more time indoors and seasonal illnesses can spread rapidly. Protect yourself by getting the shot and following good hygiene practices for a safe winter and spring. It's not too early to get your shot."

If you are interested in receiving a flu vaccine, you can schedule an appointment via MyWellSpan today.