Greenwich Health Department offers flu clinics

Influenza (commonly called “flu”) is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.  These viruses are spread when a person who has the flu coughs, sneezes or touches a surface handled by others. It can be mild or severe and infects millions of Americans every year.  On average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually for seasonal flu-related complications.  The best way to prevent getting the flu is to get vaccinated.  It takes up to two weeks after vaccination for protection (immunity) to develop in the majority of adults.

To ensure proper protection from the seasonal flu virus, which can begin to circulate early in the fall, the Department of Health has scheduled immunization clinics starting in September and throughout the month of October.  Persons 9 years and older will be eligible to receive influenza vaccine at Department clinics. The Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, made especially for people 65 years of age and older, will be offered at clinics. Clinical trials indicate that the Fluzone High Dose vaccine helps strengthen the body’s immune response in older people.  Department clinics will also have shingles vaccine available in limited quantities for those persons 60 years and older and pneumonia vaccines for persons 65 years and older.

Flu vaccines are made to protect against the most common flu viruses anticipated each year.  This year the Department will offer a seasonal influenza vaccine containing four (quadrivalent) influenza virus strains – one Influenza A-like (H3N2) virus, one Influenza A-like (H1N1) virus and two Influenza B-like viruses.  The viruses in the flu shot are inactivated (not live), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot.  Some minor side effects that could occur are: low grade fever, soreness and aches.  Influenza can affect anyone; however, those 65 years of age and older have a higher risk for complications from influenza.  Usually people experience a rapid onset of high fever (although not all individuals exhibit fever), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, chills, headache, fatigue and body aches.  

Director of Health, Caroline C. Baisley, emphasized, “getting vaccinated for seasonal influenza is the best way to provide protection against circulating influenza viruses.  The traditional flu season begins early October and runs through May in most years and sustained influenza transmission is usually not seen before January or later.  The Department of Health is committed to working with medical providers in an effort to provide influenza vaccine in the community, especially to those at increased risk for severe complications from influenza.”  People at high risk include children under the age of 5, pregnant women, adults over 65 and people with underlying medical conditions.  

Who should get the Seasonal Flu Shot (age appropriate vaccine available):

  • People aged 6 months of age and older, with rare exceptions
  • Persons 6 months of age and older with underlying chronic medical conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular disease (except hypertension), diabetes, neurological, hepatic or renal disorders and immunosuppression, that require frequent or ongoing medical management
  • Pregnant women or those who will become pregnant during the influenza season
  • Household contacts and caregivers of people who are at high risk
  • Close contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children and adolescents at high-risk, especially infants under six months of age
  • Healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes and other long term care facilities
  • Persons who are morbidly obese (BMI > 40)
  • Persons who are 6 months through 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy

Note: Seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended for all persons aged 6 months of age and older, however, immunizations will not be administered to individuals under 9 years of age at the Department clinics since two doses of flu vaccine will be needed for children  6 months through 8 years who will be receiving flu vaccination for the first time.  The second dose is given at 4 weeks or later after receiving the first dose.  Parents are advised to contact their pediatricians for an appointment and dose requirements for this age group.  

Who should NOT get the Seasonal Flu Shot:

  • Children younger than 6 months of age
  • People with severe life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine.  ACIP makes specific recommendations for the use of influenza vaccine in persons with egg allergy.

People younger than 65 years of age should not receive the Fluzone High Dose Vaccine

Who should consult with a healthcare provider before getting the flu shot:

  • People who previously developed Gullain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting a flu shot
  • People who have an allergy to eggs
  • People who have a moderate to severe illness with a fever

For the 2016-2017 flu season, ACIP recommends that LAIV4 (nasal mist) not be used.

Pneumococcal vaccine will be available during scheduled flu clinics.  The following list outlines the required criteria:

Recommendations for Pneumococcal Vaccine

  • All adults 65 years or older should receive a dose of PPSV23 and PCV13 (new vaccine).  A health care provider should be consulted for timing of the vaccines.
  • Adults aged 19-64 who have long-term medical conditions
  • Persons who received PPSV23 pneumococcal vaccination before the age of 65 should have a booster if it has been five or more years since the vaccination.  Please check with your physician if you don’t know the date of your pneumonia vaccination.

“Although the single best way to prevent the flu or pneumonia is to get vaccinated, there are other ways to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses,” states Director of Family Health, Deborah Travers.  Those steps include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  Keep your distance from others when you are sick
  • Stay home from work or school when you are sick for at least 24 hours after your fever (100o F and above) is gone, except to seek medical care.  Your fever should be gone without using fever reducing medications or antiviral drugs.  It could take up to one week or more to feel better.  
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.  If soap and water is not available, alcoholbased cleaners (at least 60% alcohol ingredient) are effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth germs are spread this way.
  • Get plenty of sleep, water, healthy food and exercise
  • Seek medical care early.  Consult your health care provider immediately if you develop flu symptoms.

During the influenza season, the public is encouraged to call the Department of Health flu information hotline for up-to-date information at 203-622-3774, or visit the Department’s website main page at www.greenwichct.org.  

GREENWICH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

INFLUENZA, PNEUMONIA AND ADULT VACCINE IMMUNIZATION CLINIC SCHEDULE – 2016

For persons 9 years of age and older

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

2:30 – 5:30 PM

GREENWICH TOWN HALL

101 Field Point Road, Greenwich

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2016

2:30 – 5:30 PM

GREENWICH TOWN HALL

101 Field Point Road, Greenwich

HEALTH AND WELLNESS EXPO

(Formerly Senior Health Fair)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2016

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

EASTERN GREENWICH CIVIC CENTER

Harding Road, Old Greenwich

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

3:30 – 6:00 PM

EASTERN GREENWICH CIVIC CENTER

Harding Road, Old Greenwich

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2016

3:30 – 5:30 PM

BENDHEIM WESTERN GREENWICH CIVIC CENTER

449 Pemberwick Road, Greenwich

FEES AND ACCEPTED INSURANCE

Participants 65 years of age or older must bring their Medicare Advantage ID Card/Traditional Medicare Part B Card or a fee of $35.00 will be charged for influenza immunizations.  (Seasonal and Fluzone High Dose)

The charge for the pneumonia immunization (Pneumovax 23) is $65.00 and (Previnar 13) is $180.00

Medicare Advantage Plans do not cover pneumonia immunizations received at public clinics.

Shingles vaccine will be available at all flu clinics, but quantities will be limited.  Shingles vaccine is also available through the Division of Family Health Immunization Clinic.  Appointments are recommended (203622-7854). The charge for shingles vaccine (for persons 60 years and older) is $185.00 (limited quantities at clinics – cash/check only – no insurance billing – receipts available)

Medicaid will not be accepted; however, patients are advised to call 203-622-7854 for further assistance.

Credit cards will not be accepted.

People between the ages of 9 and 64 will be charged a $35.00 fee for influenza immunizations and $65.00 for the pneumonia immunization (Pneumovax 23).  Checks should be made payable to the “TOWN OF GREENWICH” and if paying with cash, exact change will be appreciated.

Short sleeves and attendance no earlier that 15 minutes before the start of the clinic will be appreciated.

The public is encouraged to call 203-622-3774 prior to attending any clinic.  All changes to the set schedule will be recorded and publicized to the best of the Department’s capability

flushot1

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress