County and Island Flu Shot Clinics Scheduled

Sep 26, 2017

The Ocean County Health Department has announced its schedule of autumn flu shot clinics. Clinics will be offered in four Southern Ocean County communities.

Two will be held in Barnegat Township. The first is 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Barnegat branch of the Ocean County Library, 112 Burr St. The second is 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Brighton at Barnegat clubhouse, 35 Brighton Rd.

Little Egg Harbor Township is 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the Little Egg Harbor branch of the Ocean County Library, located at 290 Mathistown Rd.

Stafford Township will host three clinics: 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Atlantic Hills clubhouse, 98 Atlantic Hills Blvd.; Tuesday, Oct. 3, 1 to 3 p.m. at the Ocean Acres Community Center, 489 Nautilus Drive, attached to the Ocean Acres Elementary School; and Wednesday, Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Southern Ocean Resource Center, 179 South Main St. (Route 9).

Tuckerton’s clinic will be held 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Tuckerton Seaport Hunting Shanty.

In addition, three flu/pneumonia clinics will be held at the Ocean County Health Department Southern Site, 333 Haywood Rd. in Manahawkin. They will all be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Oct. 12 and 26, and Nov. 9.

Many other clinics have been scheduled for central and northern Ocean County. Visit the department’s website, ochd.org, for further information.

Additional locations to receive flu shots include doctor’s offices, pharmacies, college health centers and many larger corporations.

Both the OCHD’s flu and pneumonia vaccinations are free for people enrolled in Medicare Part B. If you are not enrolled in Medicare Part B or have a Medicare Managed Care Plan, you’ll pay $20, payable in cash or by check. Residents under the age of 65 need a doctor’s note for a pneumonia shot.

Three types of influenza vaccinations will be available at OCHD clinics: a standard dose intramuscular injection that includes four flu strains, recommended for ages six months and older; a high-dose intramuscular injection that includes three flu strains and more antigen for a stronger immune response, recommended for ages 65 and older; and an intradermal (just under the skin) injection that includes four flu strains and is for people between the ages of 18 and 64.

The Long Beach Island Health Department will hold a flu shot clinic 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Barnegat Light Firehouse at West 10th Street. The LBIHD is offering both regular and high-dose vaccinations and, like the OCHD, will provide free shots for those enrolled in non-HMO Medicare Part B. Charges for anybody else are $25, cash or check accepted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over 6 months of age should be vaccinated against influenza, preferably before the end of October. Those who should definitely receive a shot include those 65 years of age or older; residents of long-term care facilities; people with long-term health problems such as heart, kidney, lung or metabolic (think diabetes) diseases; folks with muscle or nerve disorders such as seizure disorders or severe cerebral palsy that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems; persons with a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS, long-term treatment with steroids or currently being treated for cancer with radiation or chemotherapy; kids 6 months to 18 years of age on long-term aspirin therapy; children 6 to 59 months of age; and pregnant women or women who are planning on a pregnancy during the flu season. Influenza most commonly kills the young, the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.

It is also important that physicians, nurses, caretakers for the elderly, babysitters, first responders and teachers get a shot to protect not only themselves, but also their patients and charges. Folks who live in crowded conditions such as dormitories, and those who are at high risk of influenza complications and travel to the Southern Hemisphere between April and September (that hemisphere’s flu season), or to the tropics at any time, should also seriously consider getting a shot.

— Rick Mellerup

rickmellerup@thesandpaper.net

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