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October 30, 2018 -- County Executive George Latimer set an example for all Westchester County residents, receiving his flu vaccine at the start of flu season at the County Health Department clinic.

Latimer said: “Don’t put off your flu shot any longer – make an appointment for one today. Flu can be miserable, and this vaccine will help keep you and your family healthy well into 2019.”

While the clinics are open to all, they are intended for people without insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover vaccines. Register online for these flu vaccine clinics at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60. Flu shots are also available for a fee from many area pharmacists and medical offices.

The County Health Department plans to provide up to 1,700 flu vaccines this fall. It has focused its public vaccination efforts on people who lack the means to get vaccinated elsewhere by bringing flu shots to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries through Westchester. The County also will give free flu shots to any college student on Tuesday, October 23 at Westchester Community College.

“Everyone six months and older should get an annual flu shot,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “Flu can make otherwise healthy adults and children very ill and it can be deadly. When healthier people get an annual flu shot, they help protect the people around them, including infants too young to be vaccinated, seniors and people with chronic health conditions, who are more vulnerable to flu complications.”

Flu activity is usually highest between December and February, but can last into May. One flu vaccine now provides protection all season long and can prevent illness or reduce the severity of flu symptoms. The vaccine becomes fully effective after about two weeks.

Dr. Amler said that anyone who does get a respiratory infection should cough or sneeze into their elbow, wash their hands frequently with soap and water, stay home until 24 hours after their fever subsides to avoid spreading germs, clean surfaces they touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones, and get plenty of rest.