By Freeholder Gerry P. Little. The weather is turning cooler, the days are shorter and the leaves will soon begin to change color. Fall also brings another tradition to Ocean County, and I’m not talking about high school football.
Flu shots will once again be available from our Ocean County Health Department beginning in September and continuing throughout the autumn.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that everyone over the age of six months be inoculated each year against the flu.
It’s good advice. Flu shots are simple – sometimes amounting to no more than a mosquito bite-type-of-feeling, and inexpensive, especially when compared to the medical cost of fighting and recovering from the full-born flu.
This year, the flu vaccine comes in three varieties: the traditional dosage delivered by an injection in the arm, a higher dose for those 65 years and older and a new intradermal shot for people ages 18-64.
The new intradermal vaccine is injected beneath the skin of the upper arm with a needle that is 90 percent smaller than a traditional vaccine. It provides the same flu protection without the pinch. You may develop a small itchy bump similar to a mosquito bite at the site of the injection.
The Health Department will run more than 50 public flu/pneu clinics throughout the county. Feel free to choose a date and location most convenient to you.
A full listing of all times and locations can be found at the Ocean County Health Department website www.ochd.org.
Each clinic will also offer pneumonia shots to seniors over the age of 65. Anyone under the age of 65 must provide a doctor’s note to receive a pneu vaccination.
Flu and pneu shots are free to those patients with Medicare Part B or a Medicare-managed health plan. There is a $20 cost per vaccine for all others.
There really is no easier and economical way to protect your family from the flu this winter than by visiting one of our clinics.
So roll up your sleeve and join me in staying healthy in 2014.