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

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Dec. 14, 2006

Flu Shots Can Protect Children from Influenza

The Oswego County Health Department is offering flu shots for children this winter at its immunization clinics in Oswego and Pulaski.

Kathleen Smith, Oswego County Commissioner of Health Services, said healthy children ages six to 23 months, and children with chronic illness such as asthma or diabetes, should be vaccinated against the flu. Any healthy child may also receive a flu shot. The influenza season usually peaks in February.

The children's flu shot is available from area pediatricians, family physicians, and at the County Health Department's immunization clinics. Clinics are held every Friday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego; and on the first and third Fridays of the month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse in Pulaski.

Two types of influenza vaccine are available this year. An inactivated influenza vaccine is given in the flu shot. An option for healthy people ages 5 to 49 is a nasal spray which uses a live, weakened virus. The nasal vaccine shouldn't be used by children younger than five or people with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems.

Children between the ages of six months and nine years who have never received a flu shot will need two doses, given one month apart.

Children do not need an appointment to receive a flu shot at the County Health Department's immunization clinics. There is a $15 fee; however, no one will be turned away due to their inability to pay.

Adults can receive the influenza vaccine by appointment at the county immunization clinics. People who are covered by Medicaid or Medicare should bring their benefit card with them to their flu clinic appointment. All other adults will be charged $30 for the vaccine.

Adults may make appointments online at https://www.onflu.net/oswego/ or by calling the Oswego County Health Department, phone 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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