Maury Regional Health encourages flu vaccination


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — With the peak season for influenza (flu) activity ahead, Maury Regional Health encourages community members to obtain an annual flu vaccine. Vaccination against the flu is now available and is recommended for everyone age six months and older with limited exceptions.

Flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is caused by influenza viruses. Flu-related illness can range from mild to severe and can result in the need for hospitalization or even lead to death.

While flu can be diagnosed at any time of the year, fall and winter months are considered the most common time for those viruses to circulate. Flu season is unofficially observed between November 1 and March 1 and vaccination is encouraged prior to the start of flu season.

“An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from flu and its most severe complications,” said Chris Turner, MD, chief medical officer for Maury Regional Medical Group. “It is a good idea to receive vaccination by the end of October in order to be prepared for the onset of flu season. It is particularly important to be vaccinated while COVID is still being transmitted in the U.S.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those at greatest risk of complications from the flu include people age 65 and older, children younger than two years old, women who are pregnant and individuals with chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes.

Flu viruses spread through tiny drops when a person coughs, sneezes or talks. Individuals may become infected after breathing in these drops or touching items and surfaces covered with these drops and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. Symptoms of flu often come on suddenly and can include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

“Individuals may carry and transmit the flu virus up to 24 hours before they show any signs or symptoms. Getting vaccinated can not only help protect you from getting flu, but also help prevent transmitting it to others,” said Dr. Turner.

Flu vaccines are available from primary care practices, retail pharmacy locations and health departments. It takes about two weeks following vaccination for your body to develop the antibodies that protect against flu.  A high-dose version of the flu vaccine is available to those ages 65 and older to provide increased protection.

Learn more about flu and vaccination at

Pictured in Chris Turner, MD, chief medical officer of Maury Regional Medical Group

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