An increase in the flu virus nationwide means an early flu season is underway. The CDC reported that although no cases of influenza have been reported in Central Nebraska, healthcare officials are urging residents to get the flu vaccine.
Some Grand Island residents lined up to get the vaccine this week, while others started long before the holiday season.
"I live in a retirement home and I sure don't want them to get it either, at least not from me," said Grand Island resident Pat Boyer. Boyer said she gets the vaccine each year as soon as it's been released.
"We're asking everyone 6 months of age or older to get vaccinated," said Katie Wichman, a community health nurse to the Central District Health Department.
Wichman said the vaccine is especially important to the most vulnerable. "The children, the older population, and also pregnant women need to get vaccinated, also if you're just at risk for flu associated illness like asthma or if you're at risk for pneumonia."
Wichman said some other tips to prevent the flu aside from the vaccine is to wash your hands.
Pharmacists and health officials added it's important to get the vaccine each year, because the nature of the virus changes each year, and so does the vaccine.