The second of Livingston’s two flu clinics will take place on Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Town nurses will be inoculating residents, in one shot, against three of the predicted influenza strains.
For those thinking of foregoing the shot, here’s a sobering thought: the CDC estimates that between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths are caused or contributed to by the flu every year.
The Nursing Department first offers the shot to first responders (police, firefighters, first-aid workers), town employees, people who are homebound, and public school teachers before offering it to the general public.
Janet Traettino, nursing supervisor, told Patch that at the recent flu clinic in late September, about 450 people were inoculated.
The flu shots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for residents ages 18 and up as well as for those who live in Millburn and Short Hills.
The cost is $20 and is free for those who present a Medicare card. Those whose names begin with the letters M through Z, or those who couldn’t come to the first flu clinic, can get inoculated on Oct. 5.
The flu season tends to peak in January/February although most influenza occurs from October through May.
Dolores Keller, nurse and health educator, described how at the end of each flu season, experts make an educated guess as to what flu strains will be prevalent next year. They then tell manufacturers what vaccine to make.
“That’s why you can get the flu even after you get a shot. It’s not an exact science,” added public health nurse, Melissa Kimmel.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination is especially important for those individuals at risk of severe influenza and those who are in close contact with them. That population includes health-care personnel and those in the child-care field.
The Livingston Nursing Department is a public health service that provides services to Livingston, Short Hills, and Millburn. For more information, visit www.livingstonnj.org/nursing.htm. You can also log onto the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov.