While you are busy shopping this holiday season, take time to get yourself and your family an important gift of health – the flu vaccine. During National Influenza (Flu) Vaccination Week (December 2-8), the Rockland County Department of Health reminds residents that the best way to prevent the flu, and its complications, is by getting the flu vaccine each year.
“Get your flu shot now - it’s not too late. Flu season doesn’t usually peak until January or February and can last until May. The flu shot offers protection for you through the holidays, and for the rest of the flu season,” said Dr. Joan H. Facelle, Rockland County Commissioner of Health.
The Rockland County Department of Health is holding the following flu vaccine clinics in December, by appointment only:
Dates: Friday, December 14th, Friday December 21st, and Friday, December 28th
Time: 1 pm – 3:30 pm
Place: Health Department, Building D, Sanatorium Road in Pomona, New York
Call (845) 364-2519 to make an appointment. The flu vaccine is free of charge to adults 60 years and older. Patients with Medicare and Medicaid must bring their cards. Those 9 through 59 years of age can receive the vaccine, but will be charged a $25 fee. Bring proof of Rockland County residency such as a driver’s license.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu. This includes older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people who live in facilities like nursing homes.
The 2012-2013 flu vaccine will protect against the three flu viruses that experts predict will be the most common during this year’s flu season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu every year.
Besides getting your flu vaccine, follow these good health habits to help prevent getting and spreading the flu: avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and practice other good health habits, such as get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
For more information, speak with your doctor, or visit the Health Department’s website at http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/programs-and-services/flu/ .