Delaware Doctors Urge Early Vaccination After First Flu Case - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Doctors Urge Early Vaccination After First Flu Case

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DOVER, Del. -- Doctors in Delaware are urging people to not procrastinate on getting vaccinated this flu season, which was marked in Kent County with the first lab-confirmed case of the illness at a state laboratory.

Delaware recorded six deaths connected to influenza among its 2,064 confirmed flu cases. The state is just a couple seasons removed from a record-breaking 28 deaths related to complications from the disease.

It's advised that most people above the age of 6 months old receive a flu vaccine, especially if they are pregnant, caregivers and household contacts of children younger than 6 months, food service providers, health care providers, or have chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.

“Vaccination is about not only protecting yourself, but also protecting each other,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, who heads the Delaware Division of Public Health. “If you’re not in a high-risk group, you likely live or interact with those who are, such as young children, older adults, or those with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems.”

Dr. Parvathi Somasundaran with Bayhealth understands why people are hesitant to get a flu shot this early in the season but said people should get one soon to ward off the disease during holiday gatherings.

"It takes about three weeks to get immunity so the ideal time is like right now. Halloween time, end of October, November, then coming into thanksgiving you'll be fully protected," she said.

Although people are advised to get the flu vaccine earlier rather than later, some skeptics and procrastinators say they'll take their chances.

Michael Fuller of Dover said he used to get the vaccine when he was in the United States Marine Corps but hasn't gotten one since.

"Before the Marine Corps, I never really got one and I didn't really see a difference in how I felt so I haven't really seen the point in getting one."

Stephen Hill said he doesn't plan on getting immunized because he usually tries to take medicine before an illness gets too severe. He said it's been quite some time since he's gotten the flu or seriously ill.

"I waited too long to start taking something for it," he said. "Now, I make sure if I feel a cold coming on I take something for it."

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