It’s open to children age six months to 17 years.
Frederick, Md (KM). The flu season so far has been very severe; and because of that, the Frederick County Health Department is holding a free flu vaccination clinic on Saturday between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM.. It’s takes place at the Health Department offices at 350 Montevue Lane, and is open to children between the ages of six months and 17 years.
“In Maryland, generally, it is widespread, and hospitals are definitely very, very busy with patients who have the flu,” says Darlene Armacost, the Program Manager for Communicable Diseases with the Health Department. “And we are seeing exactly the same thing here in Frederick County.”
The Health Department says it has no flu vaccine for adults 18 and older, and it encourages them to get their flu shots from their health care provider, pharmacies and grocery stores. You can find out where influenza vaccinations are taking place in your community by going on line to https://vaccinefinder.org.
The people most susceptible to the flu are children younger than five years of age; people 65 and older; pregnant women; people with health issues such as asthma; diabetes or heart disease and those who take medications that weaken the immune system such as chemotherapy.
If you are healthy, Armacost says the first thing you need to do is get vaccinated. “You also want to get plenty of rest, eat a well balance diet and try to stay healthy. And definitely avoid being around sick people,” she says.
And if you are sick, stay home from school or work, says Armacost. “You want to cover your cough or sneeze; wash your hand frequently; and stay hydrated because you oftentimes have a fever,” she says.
This year’s vaccine is not considered as effective as it should be. The Maryland Department of Health says a similar vaccine was used in Australia during its flu season, and found to be 33% effective for all influenza viruses.
But Armacost says it’s still important for people to get vaccinated. “If you do get the flu once you’ve had the vaccine, it’s going to make those symptoms that you have less severe, and not last as long as it would without the vaccine,”: she says.
Additional information about the flu can be found at the Frederick County Health Department’s flu website at http://frederickcountymd.gov/flu, or by calling 301-600-3035. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information. It’s web address is www.cdc.gov/flu.
By Kevin McManus