(WTVM) - The CDC is recommending everyone six months and older to head to the health department or health professional for your annual vaccinations.
“Every county in Georgia has a health department and all of the health departments in our district are ready for you to come in and get your flu vaccine,” said Pam Kirkland with the Georgia Department of Health.
The CDC reports that the 2017-2018 flu season was one of the deadliest. It caused 172 child deaths, and 80 percent of those children did not receive the vaccination.
Children five and under, pregnant women, and adults 65-years and older are at the highest risk for developing the virus.
“Sometimes you hear about people who get the flu even though they had a vaccine. Majority of people will not get the flu. Those people that do get the flu and have had the vaccine, there symptoms will be less severe, and they won’t be sick as long as if they had not gotten the vaccine,” said Kirkland
Health experts say people who have certain medical conditions, like asthma, heart disease or a weakened immune system should take full advantage of early vaccinations.
The CDC is working to make the vaccine more effective to prevent the number of illness and deaths.
“The vaccine last year was only about 40-50 percent effective, but the CDC does surveillance year-round to see what changes and mutations the virus makes so they can adjust the vaccines for the following year,” said Kirkland.
The CDC says the earlier the better and it takes about two weeks for the vaccination to build up to its full potential in the body.
Health officials say an easy daily practice to help prevent the virus from spreading is to keep washing your hands.