As I drive around the Utica-Rome area, I notice that just about every pharmacy and drug store has a sign outside promoting "flu shots." Now that fall has arrived, many of us are thinking about flu vaccinations to prepare for the upcoming flu season. But, who should get flu shots?

"Persons Recommended for Seasonal Influenza Vaccination

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu. Vaccination should begin as soon as the vaccine is available.

Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe complications from influenza or at higher risk for influenza-related outpatient, emergency department, or hospital visits.

The list below includes the groups of people more likely to get flu-related complications if they get sick from influenza:

Children younger than 5;

Adults 50 years of age and older;

Women who are or will be pregnant during influenza season;

American Indians and Alaskan Natives;

Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities

Vaccination efforts should also focus on delivering vaccination to the following persons:

Health care personnel;

Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 5 years and adults aged 50 years or older, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children younger than 6 months."

Visit  www.health.ny.gov for a complete list of groups of people more likely to get flu-related complications if they get sick from influenza.

For more information about the flu and flu shot clinics, contact the Oneida County Health Department.