- At the midway mark in the current flu season, Acting Commissioner
Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. of the Department of Health and Senior Services
is reminding all state residents, particularly seniors and people
with certain chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart
disease, cancer, HIV, and kidney disease, that it is not too late
to get a flu shot.
flu season in the Northeast runs from November through April, we
are just now entering the peak months," said Dr. Lacy, who
noted that a flu shot taken today will reach full effectiveness
within two weeks.
because it is flu season doesn't mean you have to catch the flu,"
said Dr. Lacy. "A flu shot is a safe, effective and low-cost
way to stay healthier this winter."
date, flu activity in New Jersey has been sporadic, with schools,
nursing homes and hospital emergency departments reporting illness
rates that mirror activity at this time last year. In 2001, the
peak period of flu-like illness activity occurred between the last
week in January and the first week in March. Weekly flu activity
updates are posted on the Department of Health and Senior Services'
website at www.state.nj.us/fluinfo.
is a serious public health threat that annually claims the lives
of approximately 20,000 Americans," said Dr. Lacy. "In
most cases, the flu is a preventable illness so state residents,
particularly seniors and people with chronic conditions that place
them at high risk, should take steps now to protect themselves."
Lacy noted that vaccine manufacturers produced more total doses
of flu vaccine for use this season than in recent years and vaccine
availability should not be a problem. He urged individuals to call
their doctors now and make an appointment to get a flu shot.