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Dated 09/21/2006

County Health Department
Flu Clinics Offered By County Health Department

DATED: Wednesday, September 20, 2006
CONTACT: Hunterdon County Health Department 908-788-1351
CONTACT PERSON: Carl Rachel, Public Relations Director
EMAIL: crachel@co.hunterdon.nj.us

The Hunterdon County Department of Health will conduct five public flu and pneumonia clinics this year beginning in November.  Vaccine ordered earlier this year is scheduled to arrive in coming weeks.

The first event is November 1, from 10am-12pm at Lambertville Assembly of God.  The second clinic is November 2, from 10am-12pm at St. Edwards Parish Center. Subsequent clinics are November 14, from 10am-12pm at St. Magdalens Parish Center, Flemington; November 15, from 3:30pm-5:30pm at Voorhees High School, Glen Gardner; and November 30, from 5pm-7pm at Holland Brook School, Whitehouse Station.

For seniors showing their Traditional Medicare Part B Card, both the flu and pneumonia vaccines will be billed to the provider. No other insurances plans, including Medicare HMOs, will be accepted. For other residents, either flu or pneumonia vaccines are $20 each. Seniors age 65 and over only need to receive the pneumonia shot one time and they are good for life. Anyone under 65 years of age must have a note from their physician indicating eligibility for the pneumonia vaccination.

Who should get a flu shot?  The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends these priority groups for this year:  People 65 years or older with medical conditions; nursing home residents; persons 2-64 years with high-risk conditions; pregnant women; persons older than 65 years without high risk conditions; children 6-23 months old; children 24-59 months old; healthcare workers; close contacts of children less than 6months of age; contacts of all other high-risk persons; healthy persons 50-64 years; healthy persons 5-49 years of age.

"With more than 3,200 doses we ordered for this year, everyone who desires a flu shot should be able to get one," said John Beckley, director of the county health department.  "Unlike the vaccine shortages of previous years, the government reports this season's supplies will sufficiently meet national demand.”  According to the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, nationwide at least 95 million doses will be produced this year with a potential of up to 110 million doses being manufactured.

As in previous years, the health department reminds residents that the clinics will be held only if sufficient flu vaccine is received prior to the clinic dates.  It is advisable to call the Hunterdon County Department InfoLine at 908-788-1329 for recorded updates about the clinic schedule nearer to the clinic dates.  If you have a specific medical concern, contact the Public Health Nursing & Education division at 908-806-4570.  The health department website http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/health.htm will also post an up-to-date clinic schedule and any changes to that schedule should they occur.

“Flu causes more than 36,000 deaths each year in the U.S," Beckley added.  “A flu shot is the best defense and should be made a personal priority as we enter this flu season.”

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