Free flu shots offered Tuesday and Jan. 21 by county health department

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Editor’s note: This press release was provided by Westchester County.

(White Plains, NY) – With peak flu season at the height of activity, County Executive George Latimer announced that the County Health Department will offer more free flu vaccines for residents by appointment on Tuesday, January 14 and Tuesday, January 21 at the County Clinic in White Plains.

Latimer said: “The flu is widespread this season, and it can be miserable if you come down with the virus. I encourage anyone who did not have a flu vaccine this fall to sign up for one today, to protect you and those around you well into 2020.”

The New York State Department of Health has reported a sharp increase in the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases and hospitalizations reported statewide. So far this season in New York, 3,592 flu-related hospitalizations and one flu-associated pediatric death have been reported.

Westchester flu clinics are open to all, especially those without insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover vaccines. Register online for a free flu vaccine at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60. The vaccines will be given at the County Clinic, 134 Court St., White Plains, as follows:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The County Health Department has focused its public vaccination efforts on people who lack the means to get vaccinated elsewhere by bringing flu shots to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries throughout Westchester.

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “Everyone six months and older should get a flu shot each year. Flu can be deadly, and the flu vaccine is very safe and the best protection we have. By getting an annual flu shot, you help protect infants too young to be vaccinated, seniors and people with chronic health conditions, who are more vulnerable to flu complications.”

Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, but can last into May. One flu vaccine now provides protection all season long and can prevent illness or reduce the severity of flu symptoms. The vaccine becomes fully effective after about two weeks.

Dr. Amler said that anyone who does get a respiratory infection should cough or sneeze into their elbow, wash their hands frequently with soap and water, stay home until 24 hours after their fever subsides to avoid spreading germs, clean surfaces they touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones, and get plenty of rest.