The Monmouth County Health Department is offering flu shots to county residents at 16 flu shot clinics now through late October.
“Generally speaking, anyone over six months of age can receive the seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine,” said Michael A. Meddis, Monmouth County’s public health coordinator. “We strongly urge anyone at risk of flu-related complications to get the seasonal vaccine from the 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 Healthcare, and Three Rivers Health. The County Health Department does not accept or bill other insurance companies, but the 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 Meddis. “We are continuing to work with state and local health partners to monitor trends throughout the flu season.”
“County residents can help reduce the spread of the seasonal flu by continuing to use some good hygiene habits,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to the Health Department. “You need to be sure that you wash your hands thoroughly to protect yourself from germs and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available and you are using a hand sanitizer, be sure it is at least 60 percent alcohol.”
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.
2014 Monmouth County Health Dept. Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Schedule
September 28, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Belmar Municipal Building, 601 Main Street
September 29, 10 – 11:30 a.m., Lake Como Borough Hall, 1740 Main Street
4:30 – 6 p.m., Eatontown Borough Hall, 47 Broad Street
September 30, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Neptune Villas at Jumping Brook (Clubhouse), 100 Champion Way
October 1, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Marlboro Recreation Center, 1 Recreation Way
October 2, 1 – 3 p.m., Howell Senior Center, 245 Preventorium Road
Octoeber 6, 9 a.m. – noon, Keyport Senior Center, 110 2nd Avenue
October 7, 9 a.m. – noon, Oceanport First Aid Building, 6 Pemberton Avenue
October 8, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Union Beach Borough Hall, 650 Poole Avenue
October 9, 9 – 11 a.m., Howell Villages, Highway 9 & Wyckoff Road
11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Howell Surrey Downs (Clubhouse), 1 Queen Anne Boulevard
October 15, noon – 1 p.m., Avon-By-The-Sea Firehouse, 301 Main Street
October 21, 9 a.m. – noon, Ocean Grove Francis Asbury Manor, 70 Stockton Avenue
October 27, 10 a.m. – noon, Matawan Community Center, 201 Broad Street
October 29, 9 a.m. – noon, Neptune Township Senior Center, 1607 Corlies Avenue
October 30, noon – 1 p.m., Keansburg Bayshore Senior Center, 100 Main Street
* Clinics taking place at select Howell locations are open only to Howell residents age 60 and over and are free.