HUNTERDON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
~ COUNTY ANNOUNCES SEASONAL FLU CLINIC SCHEDULE~
Four seasonal flu clinics will be hosted this year by the Hunterdon County Department of Health with vaccinations being administered by the nursing staff of Maxim Healthcare Services.
The first event is Saturday, September 12, 9am-2pm at the Rt 12 County Complex in Flemington. Subsequent clinics are October 6, 10am-1pm at St. Magdalen’s Church Parish Center in Flemington; October 15, 10am-1pm at Riegel Ridge Community Center in Milford; and October 29, 5pm-8pm at Voorhees High School in Glen Gardner.
For seniors showing their Traditional Medicare Part B Card, both the flu and pneumonia vaccines will be billed to the provider. For others, cash or checks are accepted at all locations, as are the following insurance plans: Aetna and Wellcare (flu shots covered; pneumonia shots not covered by these carriers), and SummaCare. Flu vaccine is $30 and the pneumonia vaccine is $45. Seniors age 65 and over only need to receive the pneumonia shot one time and they are good for life.
Who should get a flu shot? The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends getting vaccinated if you are in one of these priority groups: Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday; pregnant women; people 50 years of age and older; people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions; people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including health care workers, household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu, household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated.)
“We have a significant public health challenge this year,” said John Beckley, health officer and director of the Hunterdon County Department of Health. “In just the regular influenza season, there are more than 36,000 deaths nationwide. Add to that the complicating factors of a worldwide pandemic of an entirely different flu strain and it isn’t hard for most people to grasp the potential impact these simultaneous, contagious diseases can have. Our four seasonal flu clinics make it possible for area residents to take the first step in seeking protection against the ‘regular’ seasonal flu. But remember, this seasonal flu shot won’t protect you against the H1N1 swine flu. That requires a separate vaccine. We’re at work right now planning how the H1N1 swine flu shots will be offered across the county as vaccine is received.”
Beckley also stressed the need for proper personal behavior to help lessen the spread of flu. "We are asking everyone to take seriously the advice to cover your coughs with your arm or a tissue, wash your hands frequently, stay home if you are sick, and keep a distance from others who are sick. These steps will make a difference in protecting your health and making the community a healthier place."
The public is invited to learn more about the complexities of this flu season at a presentation by Kathy Roye-Horn, RN, Director of Infection Control at Hunterdon Medical Center. The event is 6:30pm–7:30pm on September 24 in the Auditorium at Hunterdon Medical Center. Roye-Horn will discuss the differences between influenza viruses; flu shot options for the fall and what you can do to protect yourself and your family. Register for the program by calling Maura Cocino at 908-806-8222 ext. 2.
As in previous years, the health department advises residents to visit the health department website www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/health.htm or call its InfoLine at 908-788-1329 for recorded updates about both the seasonal flu and H1N1 flu throughout flu season.