Flu vaccination clinics for children and seniors
PRESS RELEASE September 13, 2016
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Christine Bongiorno, Director of Health and Human Services, 781-316-3170
Arlington Health Department to offer flu vaccination clinics to Arlington children and senior residents
ARLINGTON -- With fall less than two weeks away, the Health Department is working to vaccinate residents. Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno asks that residents be proactive in getting their flu shots by attending one of the Health Department's upcoming clinics.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that appear most in the winter or early spring. It attacks the body by spreading through the upper and or lower respiratory tract.
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea. Any number of these symptoms may be apparent and residents are advised to see a doctor immediately to confirm if they have the flu.
“Children and seniors are at higher risk for complications from influenza,” Bongiorno said. “By vaccinating our community we limit the risk of serious complications.”
The vaccine is updated each year based on which influenza viruses are making people sick. The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses, as it designed to:
• Prevent you from getting sick from the flu.
• Protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like children younger than 5 years old, adults 65 and older, pregnant women (and those up to two weeks postpartum) and people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination is also important for health care workers and other people who live with or care for high risk people.
• Reduce symptoms and the risk of hospitalization and death if you were to get sick.
The Arlington Health Department will offer regular and high-dose flu shots to Arlington residents ages 65 and older on Thursday, September 22 from 5:00-6:30PM and Wednesday, September 28 from 11:30-1:30pm at the Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple Street. To receive the high-dose flu shot, residents may call the Council on Aging to pre-register as there are a limited number of doses of this high dose vaccine. Residents interested in the regular flu vaccine do not need to pre-register. Residents must bring all health insurance cards to the clinic. Residents with participating insurances will receive a free flu shot.
Flu vaccination clinics have been scheduled at each of the Arlington Public Schools so that students may get their vaccination during school hours. Parents will continue to receive notices directly from the respective school. Children ages 6 months to 18 years can also get their vaccine on Thursday, October 27 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm at the Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple Street. Please note, the intranasal mist vaccine will not be offered at 2016/2017 flu vaccination clinics, based upon a nationwide recommendation. This decision was made in light of concerns about poor vaccine effectiveness against influenza in the U.S. during recent seasons.
Copies of the vaccination form can be found at www.arlingtonma.gov/health. Forms are also available at the Department of Health & Human Services office at 27 Maple St. Please complete both sides of the form prior to coming to the clinic.
Information on additional flu clinics, as well as the list of participating insurance providers, can be found on the Town’s website at www.arlingtonma.gov/health. Information is also available on the Flu Hotline at 781-316-3413.