Flu Season Is Approaching Protect Yourself And Others, Get Vaccinated!

BINGHAMTON, NY - The Broome County Health Department and Broome County Office for Aging today announced their joint flu clinic schedule for 2007-08. Clinics will be offered throughout the county starting Monday, October 29th.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

Every year in the United States, on average:

  • 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu;
  • more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and;
  • about 36,000 people die from flu.

“We have seen a decrease in the number of people getting vaccinated over the last couple of years,” said Claudia Edwards, Public Health Director for the Broome County Health Department. “This decline may be attributed to people being discouraged by the unavailability of the influenza vaccine that was experienced in the recent past. We are hopeful that people will take advantage of the plentiful supply this year and not become complacent. Flu is unpredictable and can be mild one season and severe the next,” warns Ms. Edwards. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.

The following people are at high risk for complications from the flu and should get vaccinated each year:

  • Children aged 6 months until their 5th birthday
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 50 and older
  • People with certain chronic medical conditions
  • Household contacts and caregivers of those listed above should also be vaccinated including:
    • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of babies less than 6 months of age (they are too young to be vaccinated)
  • Healthcare workers

Parents are advised to seek flu shots for children at their regular medical provider. Children under the age of three receive a different dosage of the vaccine than adults and, depending on the age of the child, may require a second dose of the vaccine.

It takes about two weeks to build protection against the flu after receiving the vaccine. A common myth about the flu shot is that it can cause a person to get the flu. This is not true because the flu shot is made from killed viruses.

Other steps individuals can take to stay healthy during flu season is to wash your hands frequently, use tissues and dispose of them, eat a balanced diet, get plenty of rest, exercise (it decreases stress which can lower your immune system), and avoid people who are ill.

Residents are eligible for a flu shot for a fee of $30. The pneumonia shot is also available for Medicare Part B recipients aged 65 and older at Broome County Health Department sponsored clinics (*) only. There will be no out of pocket fee for the flu or pneumonia shots for Medicare Part B recipients. Individuals on Medicare must present all insurance cards to staff at the clinic. If you have signed up with a Medicare Advantage Plan you need to go to you primary care provider for the flu shot or be prepared to pay by cash or check. Some examples of Medicare Advantage programs are: Todays Options-American Progressive, Excellus Medicare Blue PPO, Aetna Golden Medicare, and CDPHP Medicare Choice.

Residents can call the Broome County Health Department Influenza Line at 607.778.3911, Option 2, to hear a recording of the current clinic schedule or log onto the Broome County Government website at www.gobroomecounty.com/hd and click on flu information.

Clinics are scheduled on the following dates:

* 10/29/07, Monday
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Broome County Health Department
225 Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905
11/01/07, Thursday
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Deposit Senior Center
14 Monument Street, Deposit, NY 13754
* 11/06/07, Tuesday
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Maine Federated Church
Route 26, Maine, NY 13802
* 11/06/07, Tuesday
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Port Crane Fenton Town Hall
44 Park Street, Port Crane, NY 13833
11/09/07, Friday
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Eastern Broome Senior Center
3469 NY Route 79, Harpursville, NY 13787
11/13/07, Tuesday
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
First Ward Senior Center
226 Clinton Street, Binghamton, NY 13905
* 11/14/07, Wednesday
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Endwell United Methodist Church
3301 Watson Boulevard, Endwell, NY 13760
* 11/15/07, Thursday
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Conklin Town Hall
Conklin Road, Conklin, NY 13748
* 11/16/07, Friday
9:00 a.m. –11:30 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Broome County Health Department
225 Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905
11/19/07, Monday
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Northern Broome Senior Center
12 Strongs Place, Whitney Point, NY 13862
11/20/07, Tuesday
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Johnson City Senior Center
30 Brocton Avenue, Johnson City, NY 13790
* 11/28/07, Wednesday
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Broome County Health Department
225 Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905
11/29/07, Thursday
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Greenman Senior Center
37 Pine Street, Binghamton, NY 13901
* 11/30/07, Friday
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Vestal Library
320 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850
12/03/07, Monday
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Broome West Senior Center
2801 Wayne Street, Endwell, NY 13760
* 12/12/07, Wednesday
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Broome County Health Department
225 Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905