DENVER (CBS4) – By now, you or someone you know has likely come down with a case of the flu. Sadly, the virus has already landed hundreds of Coloradans in the hospital.
“Almost 600 cases in Colorado this year, so we know it’s serious, and it’s still very important for people to be getting their flu shots,” Anne Hart, a nurse and Wellness Supervisor at the Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, said.
Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but can last well into the spring. It’s a big reason why health officials and nurses like Hart say it is not too late to get the flu shot.
“If somebody hasn’t already contracted the flu, they still can and might,” she told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “The odds are, in fact, that they will.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared Colorado among the highest at risk for the virus this flu season. A bit of good news, however, Hart says the flu shot this year is highly effective.
“The flu that is happening in Colorado right now is H1N1 and H2N3, and we do vaccinate against both of those,” Hart explained. “So it’s not a question of will your shot cover the viruses at hand. Yes, it will.”
For those concerned the shot will make them sick, Hart said the vaccine cannot give someone the flu.
“The fact is the flu shot is a dead virus,” she said. “There’s no way you’re going to get the flu from the flu shot.”
Getting the shot isn’t just about protecting yourself from the flu, Hart explained. She said avoiding it puts others at risk of a potentially deadly illness.
“You may also be exposing a child, an older person or somebody who is immune compromised,” Hart said. “[The flu] can be life or death for them.”
Find a flu vaccine provider near you: www.vaccinefinder.org.