HUNTERDON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
ANOTHER CHANCE TO GET FLU VACCINE
The Hunterdon County Department of Health will conduct a Flu Clinic on Thursday, November 18th from 10am to 1pm at the County Senior Center located on 4 Gauntt Place in Flemington. Both injectable vaccine and nasal mist vaccine will be available. The nasal mist formulation is for healthy individuals between the ages of 2-49.
Reserve your vaccine and appointment time by calling Hunterdon Helpline at 1-800-272-4630 or by using our appointment scheduling website at www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/fluinfo.htm.
No payment is required if you are a senior citizen with Medicare part B as your only provider. Make sure you bring your Medicare card to the clinic. No other insurance plans will be accepted. For all others the flu vaccine will cost $20.00 in cash or check.
“We’re offering these clinics as early as possible this year,” explained Rose Puelle, PhD, director of the Public Health Preparedness division. “Our theme is Community Immunity, so we’re striving to present the public with a convenient opportunity to get a flu vaccination at the beginning of flu season.
“We’re also staging these two clinics to overlap hours by design,” Puelle added. “These simultaneous events at different locations present a host of challenges for us in terms of allocating resources. With two clinics overlapping and miles apart, this simulates the very real likelihood of what we’ll face during a wide scale public health disaster. It’s an opportunity to serve our community while fine tuning our response capabilities.”
Seniors attending the October 9 clinic at either site are reminded to bring their Traditional Medicare Part B Card. If that is their only insurance provider, the flu vaccine will be billed directly to Medicare. No other insurances plans, including Medicare HMOs, will be accepted. For all others who attend either clinic, flu vaccine is $20.
Who should get a flu shot? The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends influenza vaccination for all persons aged 6 months and older. This represents an expansion of the previous recommendations for annual vaccination of all adults aged 19—49 years and is supported by evidence that annual influenza vaccination is a safe and effective preventive health action with potential benefit in all age groups.
Vaccinations are also recommended for persons living with or caring for someone who is at high risk for influenza-related complications. These include healthy household contacts, including children, and caregivers of children aged less than 5 years, and adults aged 50 and above. Also included are healthy household contacts, including children, and caregivers of persons with medical conditions putting them at higher risk for severe complications from influenza.
"Last year we saw the emergence of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus or ‘swine flu,’” said John Beckley, director of Hunterdon County Public Health. “This virus caused the first flu pandemic in more than 40 years. When you work in public health, you take these kinds of events seriously. While we can’t be 100 percent certain, it’s widely expected that H1N1 will continue to spread this flu season, along with the seasonal viruses.” To ensure that the public is as protected as possible, this year’s flu vaccine contains the H1N1 strain along with two other strains that are likely to be a threat.
“Seasonal flu should not be taken lightly," cautioned Beckley. "It causes more than 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S. A flu shot is the best defense and should be made a personal priority as we enter this flu season.”
For more information, see www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/fluinfo.htm