Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is offering free flu shots for Veterans enrolled for health care at VA throughout the flu season. There is no need for an appointment, all a Veteran has to do is come to any of the Charleston VAMC facilities or Community Based Outpatient Clinics and request their flu shot. VA enrolled Veterans who received their vaccination outside of the VA should let their VA Primary Care Manager know.
December 2 – 8 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a national awareness week focused on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. The Center for Disease Control and its partners choose December to remind people that even though the holiday season is here, it is not too late to get a flu vaccine.
The CDC estimates that roughly 49 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with the flu leading to more than 960,000 hospitalizations and at least 79,000 deaths last year. The CDC also warns that people at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people 65 years and older.
It can take up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so getting vaccinated now would still provide protection from the flu over the holidays.