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It's Not Too Late To Get A Flu Shot

Three free flu clinics available in January

Have you gotten a flu shot yet? If you haven’t, now’s the time! 

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, influenza activity is widespread in New Jersey , and many people are at risk.  As long as flu is circulating and causing illness, getting a flu vaccine is beneficial. 

The Somerset County Department of Health is offering the following free flu-vaccination opportunities to adults ages18 and older who have not yet gotten a flu shot this season:

  • Monday, Jan. 26,  5 to 7 p.m.: Borough of North Plainfield , 263 Somerset St.,
    North Plainfield
  • Wednesday, Jan. 28, 5  to  7:30 p.m.:  Franklin Township Public Library, 485
    Demott Lane, Somerset
  • Friday, Jan.  30, 4 to 6 p.m.: Somerset County Department of Health,
    first-floor conference room, 27 Warren St. , Somerville

 

Anyone who is underinsured or uninsured and cannot make an upcoming clinic can contact the Somerset County Department of Health at (908) 231-7155 for a free flu-shot voucher for use at a local Walgreens store.  Supplies of vouchers are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first-served basis. 

Yearly vaccination is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. It is recommended that most people 6 months and older get vaccinated annually.

A flu shot is your best defense against influenza and its possible complications.  It is safe and can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, missed work due to the flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. It takes about two weeks for the body to develop an immune response, so the sooner you are vaccinated, the better.

Influenza, commonly called the "flu,” can be serious.  It is a contagious viral infection that mostly affects the respiratory system:  nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.  In some cases, people may experience vomiting and diarrhea.

So far this season, influenza A (H3N2) viruses are the most common. Although some viruses circulating may be different from the most common flu strain in this year’s flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Somerset County Department of Health recommend flu vaccination because of its potential to prevent at least some flu viruses.  In addition, getting vaccinated can reduce the number of complications and hospitalizations in those people who become ill. 

The spread of influenza can be reduced by proper hand washing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and staying home when sick. 

For information on flu clinics, contact Somerset County Department of Health at (908) 231-7155 or HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us.