Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Nov. 23, 2004

Oswego County Health Department Will Offer Appointments for Public Flu Clinic

OSWEGO - The Oswego County Health Department will take reservations for a special flu clinic for 1,000 high-risk individuals. The clinic will be held Dec. 5. Flu shots will be given by appointment only. To make a reservation, people may call 591-9168 between 4 and 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29. The location of the clinic will not be announced because walk-ins will not be accepted.

"We recently received enough vaccine to provide 1,000 flu shots at a public clinic," said Kathleen Smith, Oswego County Health Commissioner. "This clinic will be by appointment only for Oswego County residents who are at high risk of developing complications from the flu."

The high-risk definition includes:

  • Adults aged 65 or older;
  • Persons aged 19 to 64 with underlying chronic medical conditions;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Health care workers involved in direct patient care; and
  • Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged less than 6 months.

A doctor's prescription is required for high-risk adults between the ages of 19 and 64 and pregnant women. Health care workers will need a written statement from their employer, and people who provide childcare to children less than 6 months of age will need a statement from their doctor.

People who fail to bring proper documentation to the clinic will not be vaccinated.

Smith states that people should not try to call for an appointment before 4 p.m. on Nov. 29 because the phone reservation system will not be activated until that time. A bank of 10 to 15 phone operators will accept appointments. Callers should be prepared to provide their name, type of chronic medical condition, address, phone number, date of birth, doctor's name, and Medicare identification number. All information will be treated as confidential.

People who are covered by Medicaid or Medicare should bring their benefit card with them to their flu clinic appointment. All others will be charged $20 for the vaccine. The Oswego County Health Department has already distributed 2,000 doses of flu vaccine to physicians, health clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, and adult homes throughout the county.

The flu shot is also recommended for all healthy infants age 6 months through 23 months and children ages 2 through 18 who have a chronic medical condition such as asthma or diabetes. The children's flu shot is available from area pediatricians and at county immunization clinics from 9 to 11 a.m. Fridays at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse in Pulaski and from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Fridays at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego. Children will not be served at the special clinic on Dec. 5.

To help prevent the spread of flu, health officials advise people to:

  • Wash your hands often;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissues when you sneeze and cough;
  • Stay away from crowds when you are sick and when there is flu in the community;
  • Keep sick children home from school;
  • Adults should not go to work when they are sick; and
  • Do not visit hospitals and nursing homes if you have flu and cold symptoms.

Flu symptoms include high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. People who experience these symptoms should contact their health care provider.

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