The Oneida County Health Department has begun vaccinating people against influenza at the department’s new office, located at 100 W. Keenan Street, near Trig’s parking lot, above the Oneida County Senior Center.
Symptoms of influenza include fever, headache, non-productive cough, sore throat and runny nose. Other complications could include pneumonia, ear infections or sinus infections. People who have underlying medical conditions are at greater risk of these complications.
Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Each year, the flu vaccine changes based on surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which type and strain will circulate. About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies provide protection against influenza.
Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon said, “We recommend anyone six months of age and older to get their flu shot.” Certain people are at higher risk of complications from the flu. Those people include children ages six months to 18 years, pregnant women, people 50 years and older, anyone with chronic medical conditions and people who live in nursing homes.
Conlon added, “The best way to protect yourself from getting the flu is to practice good hygiene, get your flu shot each year, stay home when you are sick and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
The flu shot is $25 and the pneumococcal shot is $60. The Oneida County Health Department bills Medicare, Medicaid and Medicare Replacements (card must be presented at time of service). Cash and check are also accepted. For more information, contact the Oneida County Health Department at (715) 369-6111.