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Westchester County Executive George Latimer rolled up his sleeve and got a flu shot at Westchester County Department of Health clinic in White Plains.

Urging residents to follow his lead, Latimer said: “Schedule your flu shot today, don’t wait. The flu can be miserable and it should be taken seriously. This vaccine will help keep you and your family healthy well into 2022.”

Flu shots are available for a fee from many area pharmacists and medical offices. 

The County Health Department is on track to provide up to 2,000 flu vaccines this fall, mostly to County employees. A public flu clinic will be announced at a later date.

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “Everyone six months and older should get an annual flu shot. Flu can make otherwise healthy adults and children very ill and it can be deadly. The sooner you get vaccinated, the better. Flu symptoms can be confused with COVID-19, so your flu shot can help your doctor treat you if you do become sick. Vaccines for flu and COVID-19 offer the best protection we have to fight these diseases. And you also help your community by protecting people around you who are more vulnerable to flu complications, such as infants too young to be vaccinated, seniors and people with chronic health conditions.”

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 consider COVID/influenza testing. To avoid spreading germs to others, it is recommended that residents wear a mask; 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.