The Burlington County Health Department will start its seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccine clinics for adult county residents on Thursday, Sept. 18 and will continue with a total of 28 clinics countywide through Dec. 29.
A clinic will be held at the Mt. Laurel Senior Center on Monday, Sept. 22 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
“We are asking our residents with computer access to schedule their flu shot by visiting the Health Department website, www.co.burlington.nj.us/health,” said Burlington County Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio. “People can currently schedule their appointments online beginning with our first three clinics on Sept. 18. Residents who have scheduled their appointment online and bring the printed and completed consent form will be fast tracked through the clinic. Walk-ins will still be welcomed but may have to wait in line.”
“In addition to targeting the usual higher risk groups, such as those aged 50 and older, people with chronic medical conditions, weakened immune or respiratory systems and pregnant women, all youths through age 23 are advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to receive seasonal flu vaccines this year to reduce the spread of flu in schools,” continued Garganio.
The county clinic is for adults age 18 and older but parents can take their children to physicians for flu vaccines. In addition, many other county locales will be giving the seasonal flu vaccine, including Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers in Burlington City and Pemberton.
For people who have not been immunized against pneumonia, “pneumo” vaccine is recommended for people who have not had one in five years and to anyone who received their first shot before the age 65.
“Influenza is a highly contagious illness with pneumonia being one of the most common complications in at-risk groups,” Garganio continued. “To prevent transmission to high-risk groups, seasonal flu vaccine is also recommended for health care providers; household contacts (including children) of high-risk people, and caregivers of children.”
The county health department accepts Medicare Part “B” to cover the cost for seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccines. A donation of $15 for seasonal flu vaccine and $25 for pneumo is recommended by those not covered by Medicare if residents can afford it.
“It is important to get a flu shot every year as influenza viruses continually change and vaccine success depends, in part, on the match between the types of virus in the vaccine and the virus occurring among members of the public,” Garganio said.
People who have Medicare coverage and belong to a managed care plan or HMO, should go to their regular health care providers to receive immunizations. A full list of clinics can be found at www.co.burlington.nj.us.