Fall means time to think of flu

September 24, 2013 2:58:14 PM PDT
You've probably seen the signs in shopping center parking lots - "Flu Shots Available."

This year, vaccines are available in good supply, and earlier.

There are also other changes this flu season.

The Food & Drug Administration has approved two vaccines which will protect against 4 strains, not 3 as past vaccines did.

These 'quadrivalent' vaccines will protect against 2 A & 2 B strains, meaning it will have a better chance of matching the flu that goes around this winter.

There are 30 million doses of the 4-strain vaccine available, plus more than 100-million doses of the conventional vaccine.

For seniors, there is also a "superdose" vaccine, much stronger than the standard vaccine. Seniors should ask for that one, if possible.

Everyone older than 6 months old should get a flu shot., but it is especially important for some people.

They include:

* Children under five years old

* Seniors

* Pregnant women

* Anyone with a chronic medical problem, such as diabetes, emphysema, or cancer treatment

* Healthcare providers and caregivers, especially those caring for people with suppressed immune systems

And another reminder, be sure to wash your hands as often as possible. It really does make a difference.

FLU CLINIC SCHEDULES

BUCKS COUNTY

The county will hold its 8th annual Flu Drill on Saturday, September 28, from 11AM to 2PM.

The drill provides free flu shots to county residents, while helping health officials practice for a mass immunization.

All locations will be walk-through.

They are:

  • * Upper Bucks Region: Calvary Church, 820 Souderton Rd, Souderton, PA 18964
  • * Central Bucks Region: Tohickon Middle School, 5051 Old Easton Rd, Doylestown, PA 18902
  • *Central Bucks Region: Holland Middle School, 400 East Holland Rd, Holland, PA 18966
  • * Lower Bucks Region: Harry S. Truman High School, 3001 Green Lane, Levittown, PA 19057

For more information, see the health department's website.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

The Montgomery County Health Department's Influenza Immunization Clinics are listed below. All sites will be open from 10:00AM-1:00PM, except for the Upper Merion Township Building, which will be open from 3:00PM-6:00PM.

  • Thursday, October 3, 2013, Norristown Public Library, 1001 Powell Street, Norristown
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2013, Upper Merion Township Building, 175 West Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia
  • Thursday, October 10, 2013, Congregation Beth Or, 239 Welsh Road, Maple Glen
  • Saturday, October 12, 2013, Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell
  • Saturday, October 19, 2013, Abington Junior High School, 2056 Susquehanna Road, Abington
  • Friday, October 25, 2013, Sunnybrook Ballroom, 50 Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown
  • Saturday, November 2, 2013, Upper Perkiomen High School, 2 Walt Road, Pennsburg

Additional Influenza Immunization Clinics held by Community Health Services in partnership with the Montgomery County Health Department are listed below. Registration is required and is for those 65 years and older. To register, please call: 1-866-CALL-MLH.

  • Tuesday, October 22, 2013, Merion Fire Company of Ardmore, 35 Greenfield Avenue, Ardmore
  • Wednesday, October 23, 2013, PALM Senior Center of Ardmore, 117 Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore
  • Monday, November 4, 2013, Upper Merion Senior Center, 650 Henderson Road, King of Prussia
The shots are free for Montgomery County residents. The Health Department will continue to vaccinate residents throughout the winter, or as long as they have the vaccine available.

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