Ottawa County Department of Public Health Encourages Flu Vaccinations


October 13, 2022 | For Immediate Release

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It's Time to Fight the Flu!

Ottawa County Department of Public Health
Encourages Flu Vaccination Before the End of November

(HOLLAND, MI.) - As the 2022-2023 influenza (flu) season gets underway in West Michigan, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is encouraging flu vaccinations for everyone six months of age or older, by the end of November, to reduce the risk of illness with the flu and its potentially serious complications. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and in some cases, lead to death. 

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, circulating in the air, that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk of serious flu complications. Flu symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach issues including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can rarely occur in cases involving young children.

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body approximately two weeks after vaccination. Vaccinations are available from health care providers and pharmacies. Residents are encouraged to call their primary care physician or local pharmacy for vaccine availability and appointments.

Even if they’ve been vaccinated for flu in the past, it is important that people to get an updated vaccination every year. The reason for this is that a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the “optimal” or best protection against the flu. Additionally, flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine composition is reviewed each year and updated as needed[1].

There are additional ways to protect against the flu. 

“Be sure to cover your coughs and sneezes, sanitize surfaces, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer when washing isn’t possible, said Toni Bulthuis, Immunizations Supervisor at the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. “In addition to those practices, vaccines are the most effective way to protect yourself. We highly encourage getting a flu shot in the fall, especially during the months of October and November.”

For more information visit or call 616 396-5266. Follow us on Facebook @miOttawaHealth, Twitter @miOCDPH and Instagram @miOCDPH. Check out OCDPH's seasonal influenza surveillance reports at


[1]The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,