Health department giving flu vaccines

Each year thousands of people die from the flu across the country.

The Marquette County Health Department is getting a jump start on combating the flu this year by visiting public venues such as senior centers and schools.

Medical officials say the head start has them ahead of the game for vaccinations.

“In years past we started later, we have the vaccine, weather is nicer so it’s easier for people to get out, they don’t have to fight the snow so go ahead and get people protected,” Marquette County Health Department Nurse Jill Santti said.  “You never know when you are going to get sick.  You can never pick the time, it’s not convenient, it’s not fun, most people who have gotten the flu will get a shot, it’s not a pleasant experience.”

Flu season runs from October to May.  Those who are most at risk are children, adults 65 and older, and pregnant women.

The virus is spread by coughing, sneezing, and close contact with an infected person.

The vaccination to help stunt the virus takes only a few minutes.

“The vaccine over the years has gotten more refined and we have very sharp needles so it makes it less painful and the technique of the person providing the vaccine,” Santti said.

A flu vaccine is recommended every year as the virus strain often changes.  Children up to eight years of age should get a vaccination twice a year.  It takes about two weeks for the protection to take effect.