Monday, November 3, 2014
If you have not yet had a flu shot and missed attending one of the 11 public flu clinics provided by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health, you’re still in luck. Beginning Monday, November 10, the division will provide flu shots to adults 18 years and over on a walk-in basis with no appointment necessary.
Flu shots will be offered Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 12 noon in Northfield at the Stillwater Building, 201 S. Shore Road. (Offices closed Tuesday, Nov. 11). Residents are also welcome to receive a flu vaccination in Hammonton at 310 Bellevue Avenue on Tuesdays, beginning November 18, from 10 AM to 12 noon.
Flu shots are available for $15 but there is no out-of-pocket fee for Medicare Part B recipients who present their cards.
Flu season can be as unpredictable as the virus, but the highest number of cases are typically reported between October and April. The 2014-15 vaccine will protect against three influenza virus strains that research indicates will be most prevalent during the season.
"Studies indicate that immunity declines over time so an annual flu shot is your best protection," stated Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond. "Because it may take up to two weeks for the antibodies to develop in your body, the sooner you get a shot, the better."
Flu symptoms may include fever, headaches, extreme fatigue, chest discomfort, cough, muscle aches and pains. Complications from the virus may include: bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.
The effects of influenza are especially concerning to older adults, those with chronic medical conditions, women who will be pregnant during flu season, healthcare providers and home caregivers who provide direct patient care. These individuals are strongly urged to receive a flu shot. Parents and guardians of children 6 months to 18 years of age should consult their child's physician.
To further help prevent the spread of the influenza virus and other communicable illnesses, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently, and clean commonly shared or frequently touched items. If you contract the flu drink plenty of liquids, get plenty of rest and contact your healthcare provider.
For more information about the flu visit www.aclink.org/publichealth. For questions about the Division of Public Health’s walk-in flu shots, call 609-645-5933.