Middlesex Health Department Announces Pediatric Seasonal Influenza Program

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY – The county’s public health department will offer seasonal influenza vaccination clinics for children 6 months through 17 years of age beginning Thursday, Oct. 7, according to Director-Health Officer David A. Papi.

All clinics will be held at the Middlesex County Clinic located at 596 Jersey Avenue, Suite B, New Brunswick. No appointments are needed. Sessions are planned for Oct. 7 from 1-3 p.m., Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 from 9-11 a.m. and Nov. 18 from 1-3 p.m.

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The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses including the H1N1 virus from last season.

There will be a charge of $10 per vaccination. The $10 fee will be accepted in cash only. Exact change is strongly advised. No bills larger than $20 will be accepted. Receipts will be provided at the time of service. Parent or legal guardian must be present at time of vaccination.

Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, chair of the County’s Public Health and Education Committee, said “Each year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of influenza complications. Children younger than 6 months old, children aged 6 months up to their 5th birthday, and children aged 6 months and older with chronic health problems are at increased risk for seasonal flu complications. We offer these clinics to those parents interested in getting their children vaccinated. I encourage parents to discuss with their pediatricians seasonal flu vaccine and other ways to limit the risk for their children.”

According to Papi, “Everyone 6 months and older should receive a flu vaccination. Residents can also protect themselves and others against the flu by practicing good health habits such as: staying home when you are sick; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; cleaning your hands often. (Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers in your purse, car and backpack, when soap and water is not available); avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible; covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then throw away your used tissue; getting regular exercise and rest; and by eating healthy, balanced meals.”

Call the Middlesex County Public Health Department Hotline at 1-732-745-4344 or visit http://co.middlesex.nj.us/publichealth/flu-clinics.asp for flu vaccine clinic schedules. You can also use Info-line of Central New Jersey for Middlesex County Public Health Department flu clinic information via the internet at http://www.info-line.org/ or by phone, toll-free, at 1-888-908-INFO (4636).
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