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Flu Fighter

Flu season is just a sneeze away

Delaware County Council urges residents to get immunized
Free walk-in flu clinic is set for Oct. 16 at Haverford YMCA

Haverford YMCA Flu Shot Info Flyer

Delco Flu Shot Info Page

No one can predict the timing, severity or duration of each year’s flu season. But just like a sneeze, you know it’s coming, and the best way to prepare for flu season is by getting immunized.

Delaware County Council and the Department of Intercommunity Health Coordination (ICH) are announcing several flu prevention initiatives for the 2015-16 season, including a free walk-in clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Haverford YMCA.

“As we say every year, the best way to prevent getting the flu, or spreading it to your co-workers and family members, is to get immunized,” said County Council Vice Chair Colleen Morrone. “You can see from all of the signs at local pharmacies and clinics that flu vaccinations are now available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people get the flu vaccination in October, if possible.”

The 2014 flu season was particularly difficult and deadly with the Centers for Disease Control  (CDC) reporting that 145 children died from flu-related complications during the last flu season. One of the reasons for the higher rates was the poor performing flu shot that did not achieve typical effectiveness. However, the CDC predicts a more effective flu vaccine this year, and a milder season.

Delaware County has several initiatives to encourage people to get vaccinated against the flu.

  • Awareness: Influenza information and recommendations are posted on the website at www.co.delaware.pa.us. Information includes a fact sheet about the flu, the types of vaccinations, CDC recommendations, flu symptoms and treatment.

  • Flu clinic information: The Department of Intercommunity Health makes available a calendar of flu clinics offered throughout the county also on the website. The clinics are listed by date and community.

  • Walk-in clinic Oct. 16: All residents, ages 3 and older, who have not gotten a flu shot this season, are invited to attend the clinic, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Haverford YMCA, 891 N. Eagle Road, Havertown. The free walk-in flu clinic will be staffed by medical professionals and workers from the County Department of Intercommunity Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Delaware County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).  Nonperishable food items will also be collected for the County’s annual food drive collection.
  • Senior Citizens: Senior citizens are among the groups hardest hit by the flu. Several Senior Centers in Delaware County will hold flu clinics for their members. Interested seniors should call the Senior Center to ask about insurance and requirements to register. The Senior Citizen events are as follows.

Upper Darby Senior Center, 326 Watkins Ave., Upper Darby, 19082, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 22. Call (610) 734-7652 to preregister.
           
Good Neighbor Senior Center, 1085 Hook Road, Sharon Hill, 19079, 1-3:30 p.m. Sept. 30. 610-586-8170.
           
Surrey Senior Center at Hometown, 302 S. Jackson St. Media, PA 19063, 9:30-11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16. 610-566-0505. Call 1-866-225-5654 to preregister.
           
Surrey Center at Havertown, 1105 Earlington Road, Havertown, PA 19083, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 22, (610) 446-2070. Call 1-866-225-5654 to preregister.
           
Wayne Senior Center, 108 Station Ave., Wayne, 19087, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 6. (610) 688-6246. Call 866-225-5654 to preregister.
           
Schoolhouse Senior Center, 600 Swarthmore Ave., Folsom, 19033. 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 8, Oct. 14 and Oct. 28. Call 610-237-8100 to pre-register.
           
Friendship Circle Senior Center, 1515 Lansdowne Ave., Darby, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 30.  Call 610-237-6222 to pre-register.
           
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. The vaccine is especially important for the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions. It takes 10 to 14 days to obtain the full protective benefit from the flu vaccine.

This year, the CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine for healthy children 2 through 8 years of age. Recent studies suggest that the nasal spray flu vaccine may work better than the flu shot in younger children. However, if the nasal spray vaccine is not available and the flu shot is, children 2-8 years should get the flu shot. The information about the CDC’s new recommendations, visit www.dcd.gov/flu.

For more information on seasonal influenza, contact your local health care provider or visit www.health.state.pa.us. People can also visit www.flu.gov for information and educational videos.

Information pertaining to flu shot availability is posted on the County website at www.co.delaware.pa.us. Click on the flu link. People who do not have Internet access can call the Department of Intercommunity Health Coordination at (610) 891-5311 for sites and dates.

 

 

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