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Stay flu-free; get your flu vaccine before Halloween

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

October 18, 2018


OCALA, Fla.—The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is reminding all Floridians to get their flu shot as soon as possible, before the height of the upcoming flu season. Specifically, the department recommends getting the flu shot before Halloween so the vaccine will have enough time to develop full effectiveness before the active holiday season kicks into gear in November. It can take up to two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu.

“Getting your flu shot is quick and easy and will provide peace of mind as flu season arrives,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Medical Director Dr. Olu Ogunsanwo. “It’s one of the best ways to protect yourself and loved ones this season.”

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages six months and older, including pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine because flu viruses evolve quickly, and last year’s vaccine may not protect against the current year’s flu strain. Even if the flu vaccine does not fully protect against the flu, it may reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications. According to the CDC, last year’s record-breaking flu season resulted in 80,000 deaths in the United States, which is the highest number of deaths from the flu in over three decades.

People at higher risk for flu-related complications include children less than 5, adults over the age of 65, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and people who have existing medical conditions, such as asthma and obesity. Getting vaccinated if you are healthy helps to protect our most vulnerable populations.

Visit for a flu shot locater, and visit for more information on influenza and influenza-like illness in Florida.