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

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Sept. 30, 2005

Oswego County Health Department Will Offer Appointments for Flu Shots this Fall

OSWEGO - The Oswego County Health Department will accept appointments later this fall for flu shot clinics for high-risk individuals.

The clinics will be scheduled after the health department receives the rest of its order of flu vaccine, possibly in late October or early November. So far, the department has received about a third of the doses it has ordered. Again this year the department will take reservations by phone. The phone number to call and the hours for making reservations will be announced through the news media.

"This method eliminates traffic jams and long lines at clinics," said Kathleen Smith, Oswego County Health Commissioner. "Due to the fact that there are still some uncertainties regarding doses and distribution of influenza vaccine, the department will follow the state Health Department and federal Centers for Disease Control guidelines regarding priority groups for early vaccination clinics."

The high-risk definition includes:

  • Adults 65 or older;
  • Residents of long-term care facilities;
  • People ages 2 to 64 who have underlying chronic medical conditions;
  • Children age six to 23 months;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Health care workers involved in direct patient care; and
  • Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than 6 months old.

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

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 $30 for the vaccine. People who do not bring proper documentation to the clinic will not be vaccinated.

Healthy adults, adolescents, and children age five through 49 are encouraged to discuss with their physician the use of "FluMist" nasal vaccine. The live vaccine is effective in preventing the flu when used by healthy individuals.

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 will be available from area pediatricians and at county immunization clinics from 9 to 11 a.m. Fridays at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski, and from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Fridays at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

For more information call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3545 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3545. People with flu symptoms including high fever with headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough or sore throat should contact their health care provider.

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