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

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Oct. 6, 2006

Oswego County Residents will be Able to Make Online Appointments for Flu Shots

This fall, Oswego County residents will be able to make appointments for flu shots over the Internet as well as by phone. Clinics will be scheduled as soon as the Oswego County Health Department receives its flu vaccine.

Kathleen Smith, Public Health Director, said that, like many other agencies, the Oswego County Health Department is experiencing delays in shipments of flu vaccine. The health department hopes to be able to start clinics by late October or early November.

"The best time to get a flu vaccine is in October, November or December, to have protection before the flu season peaks," said Smith. "The flu season can peak at any time from December through March, but most often peaks in February. Those people at greatest risk for complications of the flu, and those most likely to get or spread the flu, should be immunized as soon as vaccine is available."

It's estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of all Americans will get the flu.

The flu shot is recommended for people at high risk for health complications from the flu, including:

  • Children six months to five years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • People age 50 and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities
  • All siblings, household contacts and caregivers of children ages six months to five years
  • Household contacts and caregivers of children less than six months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
  • Health care workers and people who provide essential community services
  • Students or other persons living in dormitories or institutional settings
  • People who are traveling to an area where there is influenza activity; and
  • Anyone who wants to decrease their risk of influenza.

To help prevent the spread of flu, the county Health Department advises 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; and
  • Keep sick children home from school.
  • Adults should not go to work when they are sick, and people should not visit hospitals and nursing homes if they have flu and cold symptoms.

For information, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547. To access the Web site visit https://www.onflu.net/oswego/ The Web address will be active as soon as the clinics are finalized.

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