Be ready for the fun, not the flu; protect yourself and your loved ones

Justin Tarr, Communications Project Manager | 303-691-4012 |
DENVER— With the holidays quickly approaching, family and friends will gather, airports will be busier and shopping centers will see a steady stream of traffic. More people bring more germs, and more germs bring more opportunities to get the flu. Don’t let the flu keep you from enjoying your holiday season. Get your flu vaccine today!
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends all Coloradans ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. “It takes about two weeks after getting vaccinated for full protection against the flu,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state communicable disease epidemiologist. “Anyone who hasn’t received a flu vaccine yet should do so now, before holiday celebrations begin.”
Last year, Colorado had the worst flu season on record, with 4,650 Coloradans hospitalized with the flu. This year, as of Nov. 10, there have been 23 hospitalizations due to flu, and numbers are climbing each week.
“The very best method for preventing the flu is to be vaccinated,” Herlihy said. “The flu vaccine can keep you out of the hospital and ready for work, school and all your holiday gatherings.”
Check with your health care provider about getting vaccinated, or to find flu vaccines at retail outlets, visit People who need help paying for flu vaccine can contact their local public health agency.
In addition to getting vaccinated, remember to take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and when you are sick, keep your distance from others.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
  • If you get the flu and your doctor prescribes antiviral medications, take them as directed. These medicines can lessen flu symptoms and shorten the time you are sick.
Visit the department’s influenza page to find the weekly flu report for Colorado.