Weather conditions still feel summer-like, but the calendar says the annual influenza season is arriving and agencies and businesses are offering flu shots.
Community Health Specialist Maria Otterholt at Oneida County's Health Department says you can get the flu anytime, but is most prominent in the fall and winter. She says there are several groups of people who benefit the most from a flu shot....
"....some individuals are at higher risk to get the flu and that includes anyone 65 and older, children who are really young,pregnant women, people who live in nursing homes or have chronic medical conditions. You really want to make sure if you're in the higher risk catagory you come in. It is recommended for everyone to come in and get a flu vaccine once a year...."
Otterholt says they also have a special shot for older adults...
"...the high dose is specifically designed for those persons 65 years old and older. Plain and simple it has just a little more of the antigen in there to protect you against the flu, so it has a better immune response. We highly recommend when they come in they get that vaccine and have the absolute best protection they can have this year....."
The Oneida County Health Department has the flu vaccine available weekdays during work hours. Walk-ins are welcome and no appointment is necessary. There is a charge for the vaccine, including cash or credit card. Otterholt says additional flu clinics are planned through mid-November. She says the health department bills for Medicare, Medicaid and other programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates millions of people get the flu, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and tens of thousands of deaths are reported each year.
More information is available at your county health department.