Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Free flu clinic offered just in time
People are crowding indoors — whether in daycares, shopping malls or family gatherings.
It is only a matter of time before the first cases of flu are reported in Connecticut, and you need time after a vaccination to build immunity.
To help those in the community without access to flu shots, Backus Home Health Care and the Uncas Health District are holding a free family flu clinic on Friday, Dec. 10, from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 11 from 1-4 p.m. at the Norwich Fire Department on 10 North Thames St., which is off of West Main Street across from American Ambulance.
We urge the public to take advantage of this free clinic, especially now that new Connecticut law that requires children between the ages 6 months and 59 months to be immunized if they are planning to attend a private licensed daycare facility or nursery school after Jan. 1, 2011. This law was enacted because flu spreads rapidly in these settings, and children are particularly vulnerable.
In addition, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its recommendations on who should receive an annual flu shot. All people 6 months and older should now get vaccinated.
High risk populations include:
• Children under 5 years old, and especially those under 2.
• Adults over 65 years old.
• People with chronic medical conditions.
• Pregnant women.
• Severely obese people.
The bottom line: the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated — now.
Bonnie Thompson, an advanced practice nurse, is Administrative Director of Organizational Excellence at The William W. Backus Hospital. This column should not replace advice or instruction from your personal physician. If you want to comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at www.backushospital.org/backus-blogs or e-mail Ms. Thompson or any of the Healthy Living columnists at firstname.lastname@example.org