If you put just one item on your health to-do-list this month, it should be to get a flu shot. This is the most important step you can take to protect yourself from the flu. Last year, Maine saw its worst flu season in five years, according to a May report in the Portland Press Herald. With more than 9,000 reported cases, numbers were up a whopping 55% from the previous season.
“Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you, but also those in your life that are more vulnerable. Influenza kills thousands every year and is very preventable. It results in so many missed days of work and school and is miserable to get for everyone! Influenza is already here this year, so get your vaccine now. “
– Brad Huot, MD (Portland Health Care Center)
When is flu season? The season typically peaks between late November and the end of March.
That said, it’s ideal to get vaccinated by the end of October, say officials from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control. It takes two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies that will safeguard you against the flu, and you want to be ready when the flu reaches your Maine community.
Who should get vaccinated? Everyone older than six months.
Where can you get vaccinated? Martin’s Point Health Care patients can go to any MPHC location to receive a flu shot. Click here to see walk-in flu clinic hours at our various locations or call your center and schedule an appointment. Please note: Most insurance plans cover flu shots, but it’s a good idea to double-check with your plan.
CVS pharmacies also provide free flu shots, and you can see a complete list of flu vaccine locations with the Flu Vaccine Finder on the CDC website (when you’re on the site, scroll down and look for the purple box).