INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana health officials are urging Hoosiers to get immunized against influenza after confirming the first flu-related death of the 2021-22 flu season. No additional information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.
Each year, hundreds of Hoosiers become sick from influenza, and some cases prove fatal. In the 2020-21 flu season, seven Hoosiers died after contracting influenza. In 2019-20, 137 Hoosiers lost their lives to the disease.
“Although influenza deaths last year were some of the lowest we have seen, that is largely due to the COVID-19 mitigation measures most Hoosiers were following, such as staying home and wearing masks,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “The flu remains a very real threat to Hoosiers, and we encourage everyone who is eligible to get a flu shot to help protect themselves and our hospital systems, which are still strained by the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. Because infants younger than 6 months can’t be vaccinated, it’s important that anyone in a household where a young baby lives or visits get a flu shot to protect the child. Healthcare workers also are urged to get a flu vaccine to reduce their risk of transmitting illness to their patients.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so the CDC recommends early vaccination. However, the flu vaccine can be administered at any time during the season, which typically runs from October through May.
To find a location to get a flu shot, visit vaccine.gov.