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Share holiday joy this season -- not influenza

PROVO, UTAH (November 7, 2014) -- It is a little early to see Santa out and about, but he knows the importance of getting his flu shot early so he doesn't get sick this holiday season. Encouraging others to not share illness this year, Santa was in Utah County today to get his annual flu shot.

"The elves have already gotten their shots, so we can keep production at the North Pole up," said Santa [Derrill Vest]. "I needed to get mine though, so I am protected as we get into the holiday season."

Each year, over 111 million work days are lost to flu. Those are days that individuals can't work because they are taking care of a loved one or sick themselves. Flu can effect anyone, but the extremely young and the elderly seem to be more susceptible.

Santa gets his flu shot
Santa [Derrill Vest] gets his flu shot from
Utah County Health Department nurse Sherri Johnson.

"It's important for everyone to be vaccinated," said Steve Mickelson, Family and Personal Health Division director for the Utah County Health Department. "The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests everyone get an annual flu shot. This is to not only protect ourselves, but help protect those around us."

The Utah County Health Department (UCHD) has all varieties of flu vaccinations, including the injectable or "Flu Shot", nasal or "Flu Mist," "Preservative Free," and "High Dose Flu" (for individuals 65 and older). Each of these are available for individuals with insurance or that wish to pay out-of-pocket, including flu shots through the "Vaccines for Children" or VFC program for those without insurance. For details on clinic times and locations, please see www.UtahCountyHealth.org/flushots.

"It might not be a part of the naughty or nice list, but everyone wants to be healthy and happy during the holidays," said Mickelson.

The Utah County Health Department is committed to promoting the health of our community by preventing avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community, responding to public health emergencies, and assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. For information on UCHD programs or services, please visit www.UtahCountyHealth.org or call 801-851-7000. You can also now follow the UCHD at www.FaceBook.com/uchealth, www.instagram.com/UtahCountyHealthDept, www.twitter.com/uchd, or www.pinterest.com/uchd. The UCHD is a partner with Utah's Public Health Departments.

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A Few Flu Facts:

  • It isn't "just the flu" -- as many as 50,000 people die every year from seasonal influenza, with over 200,000 people being hospitalized.
  • The flu effects everyone, from the very young to the elderly.
  • Each year, 111 million workdays are lost to flu -- an estimated $7 billion dollars in sick days and lost productivity.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests EVERYONE get's an annual flu shot.
  • If you don't like needles, there are other options as well. There flu comes in shots, intradermal needles, nasal spray, preservative free, high dose for seniors, and other options.
  • For more information, please see www.UtahCountyHealth.org/flushots

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