The Department of Health’s 2013-2014 seasonal flu vaccination clinics for County residents will begin on October 2. The vaccines will be free, but donations will be welcome. The flu shot; nasal spray flu vaccine; high dose flu shot for age 65 and older; and the pneumococcal vaccine will be available at most clinics. The nasal spray vaccine is only for healthy people age 2 to 49. The spray is not for pregnant women. Clinic locations are below or see the Flu Vacine Clinic Flier. For more information, call the Flu Information Line, 410-222-7343.
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu. It is extremely important for some people to get vaccinated, especially people who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This includes people who have certain medical conditions, e.g., asthma, diabetes or chronic lung disease; pregnant women; and those 65 years old and older. Household contacts and caregivers of people at high risk of developing serious complications should also get the flu vaccine.
A flu vaccine is needed annually, because flu viruses are constantly changing. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with the flu viruses as they change. Studies have shown that the body's immunity to influenza viruses (acquired either through natural infection or vaccination) declines over time.
Each year in the United States, on average 23,600 people die from seasonal flu-related complications and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related causes. During flu season 2012-2013, the Department of Health provided more than 22,500 doses of seasonal flu vaccine at County clinics.