The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Vaccination essential as flu season begins

With seasonal flu activity likely to begin in October and continue as late as May, Oak Park public health officials are echoing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control that everyone older than 6 months be vaccinated.

While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming season. People should get vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins.

The CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine for healthy children ages 2 through 8, as recent studies suggest the nasal spray vaccine may work better than the shot in younger children. However, if the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available and the flu shot is, the CDC says these children should get the flu shot.

Flu vaccine is offered at numerous commercial pharmacies, grocery stores and other retail sites in the Oak Park area. Most of these sites accept private insurance and Medicare Part B to help cover the cost of the flu shot. Many sites will vaccinate children as young as 18 months. Help finding a flu shot provider is available at

Residents also can email or call 708.358.5483 with questions about access to an affordable flu shot.

Everyday Precautions

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, including doorknobs, keyboards and phones, to help remove germs.
  • If you begin to feel sick while at work, go home as soon as possible.

Source: CDC