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September 20, 2022

Woman Sneezing
September 21 is National Get Ready for Flu Day, and health departments in West Central Florida—Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties — strongly encourage residents older than six months of age to get their flu shot for the 2022-23 flu season. The flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and its potentially serious complications.

Get the Flu Shot

The vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. Individuals who are at most risk for getting severely ill from the flu are young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people aged 65 years and older.

It takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccine every year because flu viruses evolve quickly, and last year’s vaccine may not protect against the current year’s strains. Even if the vaccine does not fully protect against the flu, it may reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications.

The CDC reminds everyone that it is safe to receive your flu vaccine the same time as your COVID-19 vaccine, making it convenient to take care of both at the same time. For more, visit: Flu Vaccine Safety Information | CDC


Where to Get the Flu Shot

Each of the Tampa Bay area county health departments and most pharmacies and primary care physician offices offer flu shots. For information about the flu and to find other locations to get the seasonal vaccine, go to or call your county’s health office:


(352) 527-0068


(941) 748-0747


(863) 773-4161


(727) 619-0300


(Flu shots only available to children 17 and under)

(352) 540-6800


(727) 824-6900


(863) 386-6040


(863) 519-7900


(813) 307-8000


(941) 861-2900


Healthy Habits to Help Prevent Flu

Good health habits like washing your hands can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing may prevent those around you from getting sick. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office.

Flu vaccines and good hand hygiene are still the go-to recommendations for prevention; however, public health officials say it's just as important to contain the virus, and that means staying home when you're sick.

To learn more about Florida flu statistics, please visit the Department’s Florida Flu Review website.

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