Flu Vaccine By Appointment Prevents Waiting

“Seasonal Flu Vaccine Offers Protection From H1N1” 
Oneida County residents will be able to schedule their own appointment at a series of flu immunization clinics, to be held at locations throughout Oneida County during the 2010 – 2011 flu season. The clinics get underway Friday, October 1st at the Oneida County Health Department at 406 Elizabeth Street in Utica. 

Adults, 19 years and older whose insurance is not accepted can get this year’s vaccine, which combines both seasonal flu protection and protection from the H1N1 strain of influenza, for a 25-dollar fee from 9:00 to 11:00 am and from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on that day. Children 18 years and younger can get the flu vaccine during the health department’s regularly scheduled immunization clinics. A complete schedule of clinics can be found on the department’s web site at ocgov.net, where those wanting the flu shot can schedule an appointment during a preferred block of time. On-line scheduling at last year’s H1N1 clinics was well received by the public and proved highly successful in reducing crowd size and eliminating long waits. 

“I encourage all Oneida County residents to take the recommended steps to stay healthy and avoid getting the flu or spreading it to your family, friends and co-workers,” County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said.  He added, “Flu shots still offer the best protection against influenza and so I’ve directed the Health Department to offer clinics at convenient times and locations so that everyone who wants a flu shot will be able to get one.”
The Oneida County Health Department has twenty-five additional adult flu immunization clinics planned throughout the month of October and early November.             
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), recommends the vaccine annually for all persons 6-months and older beginning in September or as soon as vaccine becomes available,” Patrice Bogan, FNP and Director of Clinic Services said.  Bogan continued, “Children younger than nine years of age who have not previously received the H1N1 vaccine or seasonal flu shot may require two doses of this year’s vaccine for optimal immunity, allowing 4 weeks between doses.”  
Bogan said in addition to the flu shot, people can limit their exposure or prevent spreading the flu by following some simple recommendations: 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes using the bend of your arm when a tissue is unavailable.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid persons with fever or other flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home from work or school if you experience a fever or other flu-like illness and remain home for 24-hours after your fever subsides without fever-reducing medications. 
Bogan said, “Everyone should remember that the FLU ends with “ U. ”