December 3 through 9 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and the Kentucky Department for Public Health is encouraging Kentuckians to get a flu vaccination to reduce the spread of illness this holiday season. Jeffrey Howard, M.D., acting commissioner for the Department for Public Health, said getting the vaccine is an early holiday gift you can give to yourself and your family. DPH officials report weekly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of statewide flu surveillance efforts. Kentucky is currently deporting 80 laboratory-confirmed cases of flue with the state flu activity level currently classified as “regional”. People who are strongly encouraged to receive the flu vaccine because they may be at higher risk for complications or negative consequences include: Children six months through 59 months; women who are pregnant or may become pregnant; persons over 50 years old; residents of nursing homes; healthcare professionals; and anyone who lives with someone who is at risk. Adequate supplies of flu vaccine are expected to be available for this year’s season and only injectable vaccine formulations will be distributed in the United States.