Local Hospital Supports National Influenza Vaccination Week

HARRISONBURG, Va. This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a perfect time to encourage your family, and yourselves, to get the flu shot.

Kim Stanchfield, the occupational health team coordinator at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, said so far influenza is low in our area; however, it's still early in the season.

She said typically flu season takes off in late December and lasts through the winter season.

Every year a new vaccination is developed based on their projection for the year ahead, according to Stanchfield. This shot covers the three strains they think will be most prevalent in the upcoming season.

Stanchfield said, in the past few years many more people have been getting vaccinated and health care has really taken a lead nationally, focusing on prevention.

Employers have also gotten on board. For example, at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, 92 percent of employees chose to be immunized against influenza.

"A lot of people do not realize the seriousness of the disease. When people get influenza, it can have devastating health affects, especially on young children, cancer patients, people that have certain diseases, and the elderly. People can literally not survive a case of the influenza," said Stanchfield.

In addition to getting the shot, there are other good prevention tools that should be done to prevent getting the flu. For example, washing your hands or covering your mouth when you sneeze. She said, it is important to ingrain these health habits, especially in kids.

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