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Dec. 6, 2010

Dec. 5 - 11 Is National Influenza Vaccination Week

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week.

Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each flu season, different flu viruses can spread, and they can affect people differently based on their body's ability to fight infection. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends.

The usual flu season starts in October and sometimes lasts until April, but flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Studies going back 30 years to 1976 show that seasonal flu-related deaths have ranged from about 3,000 people to 49,000 people.

Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Director of Public Health, urges people to take time during this year's National Influenza Vaccination Week to get themselves and their families vaccinated.

"Everyone aged 6 months and up should receive a flu shot this year, this year's flu vaccine is designed to protect against 3 different flu viruses, including the 2009 H1N1 virus," said Dr. Norfleet.

The vaccine is available from many health care providers, community health centers, and pharmacies. Check www.flu.gov to see if any vaccine clinics are scheduled at retail outlets near you.

The Oswego County Health Department holds seasonal influenza immunization clinics for the public during their regularly scheduled immunization clinic. This clinic is every Friday at the Health Department, 70 Bunner St. in Oswego from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. This is a walk-in clinic and people will be seen on a first-come first-served basis. The cost of receiving the vaccine is $30 for adults and $15 for children; it is covered by Medicaid and Medicare part B. No one is ever turned away because of inability to pay. Parents should bring their children's shot records with them to the clinic.

For more information flu vaccinations, call the County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547.

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