It is flu season! Along with chilly weather comes the reminder that we should get our yearly influenza vaccine.

As a conscientious health care worker and caretaker, I'm mindful to protect myself and others. In fact, I made it a point to get myself vaccinated as soon as my employer began providing the vaccine. National Influenza Vaccination Week is this week.

Though most of us will get a mild version of the flu, some people may develop serious health complications that may result in hospitalizations.

Occasionally, very serious complications result in death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections are only a few examples of related complications.

If the thought of a traditional injection bothers you, you may have options. An intradermal shot delivers the dose to the skin using a much smaller needle. A nasal-spray version is also available. Aside from your doctor's office, vaccines may be conveniently available at your local pharmacy, grocery store or health department.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated. This is especially important for people at high risk for complications: pregnant women, children younger than 5, people 65 and older, and people with certain chronic health conditions. Health care personnel that are eligible should consider vaccination as important to protecting our health and the health of patients.

According to the CDC, influenza levels are increasing nationwide. So please, consider getting vaccinated so you may continue to enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season.

Silvia Estrada