As the Central Florida region prepares for a very active flu season, one of the largest area health care providers is asking the public to take an active role in the prevention of the virus.

“This year, it is important to vaccinate yourself and your family against the flu,” said Debra Andree, MD, President & CEO of Community Health Centers, Inc. “Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization or even death. A yearly vaccination is the best protection against this virus,” said Andree.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone at least 6 months old to get vaccinated against seasonal flu.

“Flu vaccines have a good safety record and are an important preventative tool to remain healthy,” said Jocelyn Pichardo, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Community Health Centers, Inc.

While the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, it is especially important for pregnant women, children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. People who live in the same household with someone at high risk can help protect that person from severe flu by getting a flu shot.

“As a physician, I cannot stress enough the importance of an annual flu vaccine. If you have not yet received your annual flu shot, it is vital to get vaccinated now. The flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness and hospitalizations.  Getting the vaccine, this year, is even more important for our communities now during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic” said Pichardo.

Community Health Centers is providing flu shots at all of their neighborhood centers. For more information, please contact your physician or call 407-905-8827 or 352-314-7400.

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