The influenza season is off to an early start. Already 51 counties, plus all five boroughs of New York City, have reported flu activity. Total reported cases in the state more than doubled in a one-week period, and a few local physician offices in Putnam have run out of the vaccine.
The Putnam County Department of Health is hosting its final public flu vaccination clinic next month on Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 3 to 7 p.m., at the health department’s main office at 1 Geneva Road in Brewster. A snow date has been set for the following Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the same time and location. Call the flu hot line at 845-808-1390, or visit the PCDOH’s Facebook page (facebook.com/putnamhealth) for notification of a postponement.
“While getting immunized early is preferable,” said Dr. Allen Beals, Putnam County’s commissioner of health. “If you have not yet received your shot, it is still important to do so since the flu season can run another four months.” Beals and County Executive MaryEllen Odell received their flu shots back on Sept. 11, when the health department kicked off its immunization schedule. Since then more than 3,500 residents have been immunized by the health department at public and school-based clinics.
The Jan. 9 clinic is open to individuals age 3 and older who live or work in New York state. The fee for the flu vaccine is $10, which covers the cost of the vaccine. Those 60 years and older, or with a Medicare card, can receive the vaccine free of charge.
Appointments are not necessary, but online pre-registration is strongly encouraged. To register, participants can visit the county website at putnamcountyny.com. Registrants can choose from four time slots: 3 – 4 p.m., 4 – 5 p.m., 5 – 6 p.m., or 6 – 7 p.m.