(WHNT) — Get a flu shot by Halloween, that’s according to a new recommendation from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

ADPH says their data shows “influenza-like illnesses are increasing in most parts of the state” with 15 influenza or influenza-like outbreaks reported in the last week alone.

In his monthly message, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris urged vaccinations for the flu.

“[The] flu vaccine is especially important for adults ages 65 and older, children under 5, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease,” Harris said.

Flu shots are recommended for everyone six months and older, with some exceptions, before the end of October.

ADPH stated in a news release:

  • Those 65 years and older account for most flu-related hospitalizations and deaths
  • Annual flu shots are important for healthcare workers and those who live with or care for someone at a higher risk of contracting serious illness
  • Pregnant women are more susceptible to severe illness and could require hospitalization

For the first time, there are three vaccines specifically recommended for those 65 and older. Those flu shots include Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent Recombinant flu vaccine, and the Fluad Quadrivalent Adjuvanted flu vaccine.

ADPH says, “It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.”

To learn more about flu and vaccinations against influenza, visit alabamapublichealth.gov.