FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Health Department is offering flu shots to county residents at 29 flu-shot clinics now through late October.
“Generally speaking, anyone over 6 months of age can receive the seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine,” Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “We strongly urge anyone at risk of flu-related complications to get the seasonal vaccine from the Monmouth County Health Department or your health-care provider.”
Dates, times and locations of the upcoming flu-shot clinics are available on the Health Department section of the County’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com.
At the clinics, Monmouth County residents will pay $25 for the seasonal influenza vaccine. The vaccines are free to seniors with Medicare Part B. Accepted insurance companies are Aetna, Humana, Medicare RR, United Mine Workers of America, Coventry Health Care, Cigna, United Health Care and Three Rivers Health. The Monmouth County Health Department does not accept or bill other insurance companies, but health department staff will provide a receipt suitable for submission to a health insurance company.
Clinic participants will be screened by a registered nurse regarding risk factors and educated about the vaccine. A parent or guardian must sign a consent form for children six months to 18 years of age.
Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at increased risk for severe complications from the flu. People in the high-risk groups include:
- all children 6 months of age to 4 years;
- people 50 years and older;
- adults and children who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular, kidney, liver, neurological or metabolic disorders (including diabetes);
- people with compromised immune systems;
- women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season;
- children 6 months to 18 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy;
- residents of long-term care facilities;
- people who are morbidly obese;
- household contacts and caregivers of children less than 5, and
- adults age 50 and above.
A yearly influenza vaccination should be considered for people who provide essential community services and people living in dormitories or under other crowded conditions.
Individuals who should not receive the influenza vaccine are:
- those with an allergy to eggs and egg proteins;
- anyone with a previous life threatening reaction to a flu vaccine, or
- individuals with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome.
“Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. Although epidemics of flu happen every year, the timing, severity and length varies from one year to another,” said Michael A. Meddis, Monmouth County’s public-health coordinator. “We are continuing to work with state and local health partners to monitor trends throughout the flu season.”
For additional information, call the Monmouth County Health Department at 732-431-7456, or log onto www.visitmonmouth.com for the complete schedule.
The Monmouth County Health Department provides public health services for residents of the following towns: Aberdeen, Allentown, Asbury Park, Atlantic Highlands, Avon, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Englishtown, Eatontown, Farmingdale, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Keansburg, Keyport, Lake Como, Manasquan, Marlboro, Matawan, Millstone, Neptune Township, Neptune City, Oceanport, Ocean Grove, Roosevelt, Shrewsbury Township and Union Beach.