After November, when you see signs that advertise: “Get Your Flu Vaccine Here,” you might think, “Isn’t it too late for that?”
However, the Oswego County Health Department advises that as long as flu viruses are spreading, it’s not too late to get a vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones.
“Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but significant activity can occur as late as May,” said Jodi Martin, Supervising Public Health Nurse for Preventive Service for the Oswego County Health Department. “We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now.”
For millions of people every season, the flu can mean a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue and miserable days spent in bed.
However, many may not realize that flu also causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of deaths, each flu season.
“But there is a vaccine that can prevent flu,” said Martin. “While how well the vaccine works can vary, the benefits from vaccination are well documented. Studies show that flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.”
For these reasons, the Oswego County Health Department recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone six months and older.
According to Diane Oldenburg, Senior Public Health Educator for Oswego County, “the most important thing is that you get vaccinated. The flu vaccine not only protects you, but also protects those around you who may be particularly vulnerable to serious flu illness.”
Serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia, can lead to hospitalization and even death.
People who are at high risk for flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older, and people with certain medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
“It is especially important that people who are at high risk for complications receive the flu vaccine. It’s also important to get the vaccine if you care for anyone at high risk, including babies younger than six months who are too young to get the vaccine,” said Oldenburg.
The health department encourages Oswego County residents to talk to their doctor or other health care professional about getting the flu vaccine.
The health department offers flu vaccine for adults and children in the Oswego office at 70 Bunner St., Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.
No appointment is necessary.
The flu vaccine costs $41.
Flu vaccine is available at the Pulaski office, located in the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, on the third Tuesday of each month by appointment only.
Please call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment in Pulaski.
Patient should bring all insurance cards with them to the clinics.
For more information contact the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547.