BURLINGTON, VT. (AP) — Vermont health officials are urging residents to get an annual flu vaccine.
Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine says getting a flu shot protects Vermonters and helps to keep the people around them healthy.
The illness can be especially harmful for babies who are too young for the vaccine, older adults, pregnant woman and people with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
The Health Department says, according to data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevent, that the flu caused nearly 80,000 deaths and more than 950,000 hospitalizations around the country last season. Officials say nearly 40 deaths in Vermont had flu as an underlying cause.
Officials say a decrease in the number of people getting the shot may be contributing to more people getting the flu.
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