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Arlington Health Department to Offer Flu Vaccine Clinics for Children and Seniors

With flu season approaching, Director of Public Health Natasha Waden and the Arlington Health Department encourage residents to be proactive by getting a flu shot at one of the Health Department’s upcoming vaccination clinics, according to a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that appear most often in the winter or early spring, the press release reads. It attacks the body by spreading through the upper and or lower respiratory tract.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea. Residents are advised to see a doctor immediately to confirm if they have the flu, should they begin suffering from any number of those symptoms.

“Children and seniors are at higher risk for complications from the flu,” Waden said. “By vaccinating our community, we can reduce the risk of serious complications, and we hope that everyone will take this opportunity to reduce their risk of becoming sick.”

The Arlington Health Department will offer regular and high-dose flu shots to Arlington residents ages 60 and older on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 4p.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 26 from 10a.m. to noon at the Arlington Senior Center at 27 Maple Street.

To receive the high-dose flu shot, residents ages 65 and older may call the Council on Aging to pre-register, as there are a limited number of doses of this high dose vaccine. Residents interested in the regular flu vaccine do not need to pre-register, but must bring all health insurance cards to the clinic. Residents with participating insurances will receive a free flu shot.

Flu vaccination clinics have been scheduled at each of the Arlington Public Schools so that students may get their vaccination during school hours. Parents will continue to receive notices directly from the respective school.

Children ages 6 months to 18 years may also get their vaccine on Thursday, Nov. 16 from 5p.m. to 7p.m. at the Ottoson Middle School at 63 Acton Street. The release notes that the intranasal mist vaccine will not be offered at any flu vaccination clinics, based upon a nationwide recommendation from health experts.

Residents, especially those who are most at risk, can protect themselves and help prevent the spread of the flu by being vaccinated.

The vaccine is updated each year based on which influenza viruses are making people sick and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone obtain a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses, as it is designed to:

Prevent people from getting sick from the flu.
Protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like children younger than 5 years old, adults 65 and older, pregnant women (and those up to two weeks postpartum) and people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination is also important for health care workers and other people who live with or care for high risk people.
Reduce symptoms and the risk of hospitalization and death in those who do get sick.

Copies of the vaccination form can be found at www.arlingtonma.gov/health. Forms are also available at the Department of Health Human Services office at 27 Maple Street. Please complete both sides of the form prior to coming to the clinic.

Information on additional flu clinics, as well as the list of participating insurance providers, can be found on the Town’s website at www.arlingtonma.gov/health. Information is also available on the Flu Hotline at 781-316-3413.

Article source: http://arlington.wickedlocal.com/news/20171009/arlington-health-department-to-offer-flu-vaccine-clinics-for-children-and-seniors

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