With the height of the flu and pneumonia season just around the corner, the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) begins another full slate of clinics scheduled for residents to protect themselves. (For a complete schedule of clinic locations, dates and times please visit the OCHD website at ochd.org and click on flu clinic schedule).
Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, said “The Ocean County Health Department is offering more than 55 clinics at various sites throughout the county. We want to give all our residents an opportunity to make certain they are protected this flu season. It’s never too early to get a flu shot.”
Protection is being offered in three flu vaccine varieties. A regular dose injection in the muscle for all people six months and older. The high dose injection in the muscle is designed to provide a higher immunity level for people 65 years of age and older. An intradermal injection into the skin for people 18 to 64 years of age. The pneumococcal vaccine, or the pneu shot, is also being offered at the clinics for people 65 years of age or older.
Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, Chairperson of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services, added “Both the flu and pneu vaccines can be important for our senior residents. People who get the flu may be more susceptible to infection with the bacteria that can lead to this type of pneumonia, which is very common in people over the age of 65.”
Daniel E. Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator, stated “Influenza is contagious and caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing and sneezing. Symptoms usually last only a few days and may include: fever, cough, sore throat, headaches, chills, muscle aches and fatigue. He continued, “Vaccinations are extremely important for pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, infants and children. There are thousands of deaths each year due to the seasonal flu and even more require hospitalization.”
Medicare Part B covers the cost of a flu and pneu shot. For those without Medicare Part B or have a Medicare Managed Care Plan, the cost will be $20.00. A physician’s note or prescription is required for a pneumonia shot for those under the age of 65.
In addition to the flu/pneu shots, some of the clinics will offer other adult immunizations, including the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and Shingles as well as blood pressure reading, osteoporosis screening and a stroke risk assessment.
For more information on the flu/pneu clinic schedule please refer to the OCHD website at ochd.org or call 732-341-9700, ext. 7604/