Feds call for ‘universal’ flu vaccination strategy

For the third consecutive year, state and federal health officials are advocating a “universal” vaccination strategy to combat the seasonal flu.

That means that everyone, 6 months and older, should get a flu shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“People should get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available,” said Dr. Brooke Rossheim, director of the Rappahannock Area Health District. “There’s no reason to wait.”

The vaccine has been available in the Fredericksburg area for several weeks. A sign outside the Giant grocery in Fredericksburg encourages customers to stop by the pharmacy for their shots.

Clerks there and at local Walgreens, Walmart, Target and CVS stores said this week that they have plenty of vaccine, and that they’re offering shots with no appointments necessary.

Health officials recommend vaccination as a way to avoid the complications that can result when one gets the flu. Each year in the U.S. the flu is responsible for 200,000 hospitalizations and 35,000 deaths, according to the CDC. …


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