Health Commissioner urges all residents to schedule a flu shot.

Flu season is here and Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced that the County Health Department will partner with Westchester Medical Center Advanced Physicians Services to offer free flu shots to residents ages seven and older this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.

Latimer said: “I encourage you to get a flu shot, and it is especially important this year, because you don’t want to suffer through the flu on top of COVID-19, and a flu shot will help you protect yourself and the most vulnerable around you well into 2021.”

Advance registration is required.  Appointments are available as follows:

  • Thursday, Dec. 3, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m. to noon

These flu vaccine appointments are open to all. The County Health Department has focused its public vaccination efforts on people who are unable to get vaccinated elsewhere by bringing flu shots to homeless shelters and food pantries throughout Westchester.

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “Flu vaccines are safe, effective and widely available now. I urge you not to wait until flu season peaks to get a flu shot, because the vaccine becomes fully effective in about  two weeks. With the COVID-19 pandemic still posing a strain on our healthcare systems and a risk to us all, a flu shot is more important than ever. It can help you avoid flu and COVID-19 overlap and help doctors determine how best to treat you if you become sick.”

Although it is light now, flu activity usually peaks between December and February and can last into May. One flu vaccine now provides protection all season long and can prevent illness or reduce the severity of flu symptoms.

Dr. Amler said that anyone with respiratory infection symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 and influenza and avoid exposing others until they receive their test results. They also 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.