The Camden County Freeholder Board hosted its annual Senior Health Fair for residents ages 60 and over Thursday, Oct. 3 at Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, offering flu shots as winter approaches, while also offering a free health screening and the opportunity to learn about the multitude of services the county can provide seniors.
The annual fair kicks off the Freeholder Board’s 2019 Influenza Immunization Schedule for Camden County residents, offering immunizations for residents at nearly 20 locations between the beginning of October and mid-November in various municipalities.
“It can be difficult and confusing as a senior to try and navigate all of the different services, providers, and options that are available to you, especially with issues surrounding health,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Health Department, in a release. “The fair is offered to Camden County seniors to help streamline that process so that they can get the care and assistance that they need.”
With seniors being one of the most vulnerable populations, according to Rodriguez, the fair offers the opportunity to help keep as many people as safe as possible going into peak flu season.
Over the course of the next month, the Freeholder Board will host influenza immunization events across Camden County for residents, such as at Eastern Regional High School on Thursday, Oct. 10 from 4 to 7 p.m., the Gloucester Township Municipal Building on Friday, Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Camden County College on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and more.
Those looking to receive a free influenza immunization must simply bring a driver’s license or some other documentation that can confirm residents within Camden County.
The annual influenza immunization schedule across the county is just one way Camden County seeks to help better protect county residents as a whole throughout the year.
“Our children, seniors and pregnant women are our most vulnerable populations; so events like these are really important because it helps protect the entire community,” said Rodriguez. “If an individual gets the flu vaccine, obviously the likelihood they’ll get the flu decreases, but also the likelihood of someone getting the flu from them also decreases, so it’s a community-wide protective factor – which is why we take this all across the county, to protect as many people as possible.”
Rodriguez estimates that the county is typically able to reach 5,000 immunizations each year during its annual schedule, however numbers have slightly declined over the past few years due to residents seeking other means of getting flu vaccines, such as local pharmacies or their regular doctors.
Regardless, Rodriguez says the importance of influenza immunizations is not something that can be understated in the community.
“That’s OK that people might get them at other places,” Rodriguez said. “All we want is to make sure that the community is protected, and for people that can’t afford it, they can get it for free from the county.”