*10-5-11: Updated information from original release
The Onondaga County Health Department, in partnership with the University of Rochester Medical Center has scheduled eight (8) flu and pneumonia vaccine clinics throughout Onondaga County. The clinics are scheduled from Monday, October 24 through Saturday, November 19, 2011. Cynthia Morrow, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Health for Onondaga County, explained, “Getting a flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent getting the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children over 6 months old get a flu vaccine.” Morrow further explained that the flu vaccine is especially important for children and adults with high risk conditions such as asthma. Starting today, Onondaga County residents can schedule appointments either online at www.onflu.net or by telephone at 435-5752.
For those individuals with access to a computer and an email account can schedule a flu or pneumonia vaccine appointment on-line anytime, 24 hours a day. Friends and/or family members can also schedule an appointment for those who do not have web access. Individuals can schedule up to ten appointments for themselves, family and/or friends. The on-line service also includes information about: locations and directions to clinics, what you need to bring to your appointment, and general information about both flu and pneumonia prevention.
The CDC recommends all children 6 months to 18 years old get a flu vaccine each year. To support this, and to provide optimal customer service, all Onondaga County Health Department flu and pneumonia vaccine clinics will provide flu vaccines for children six months old and older and their families. Furthermore, FluMist„µ (a vaccine that is sprayed inside the nose) will also be available for those who prefer an alternative to the traditional flu shot. FluMist„µ is only recommended and offered to healthy children and adults ages 2-49 years old.
Children under the age of nine who have never had a flu vaccine series before will need two doses of vaccine (either the shot or FluMist®). The second vaccine should be given one month after the first shot or FluMist®. If your child is under nine and only received one dose of vaccine last year, *they should receive one dose this year.
The CDC further reinforces that it is particularly important for certain people to get a flu vaccine because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with, or care for, people who are at high risk for developing flu-related complications. These targeted groups include:
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than five, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
- Health care workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than six months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
The pneumococcal shot, sometimes called the pneumonia shot, is recommended for people over 65 years old and people 2 – 64 years old with health problems, or who are on a drug treatment that lowers the body’s ability to fight infection. Anyone 19 – 64 years old who is a smoker or has asthma is also encouraged to get a pneumococcal vaccine. Usually one shot is enough, but if you get your first dose before 65 years old, additional doses may be needed. Talk to your health care provider to determine if you should get a pneumococcal vaccine.
Appointments for a flu or pneumonia vaccine are necessary and should be made in advance. Clinics are open to Onondaga County residents. Payment accepted for the flu vaccine includes: Medicare Part B, Medicaid, cash, or check. Most other major insurances can be billed. Coverage will depend on your individual plan. If you are not covered, you will be billed. The cost for an adult flu shot or adult FluMist® is $30, the cost for a children’s flu shot or FluMist® is $15, and the cost for a pneumonia shot is $55. No one will be turned away due to their inability to pay.
To schedule an appointment for a flu or pneumonia vaccine log onto www.onflu.net or call the flu hotline Monday – Friday between 9:00 am – 4: 00 pm at 435-5752. Below please find a listing of all Onondaga County Health Department-sponsored 2011 flu and pneumonia vaccine clinics: