Health Department hosts flu shot clinic Thursday evening

The Milford Health Department has provided seasonal influenza vaccinations, flu shots, to residents on a monthly basis since October. However, in light of the widespread influenza activity throughout the state of Connecticut, the Milford Health Department will conduct an additional clinic on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Milford Health Department located at 82 New Haven Avenue.

Flu shots will be available at the clinic to individuals age 9 and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have recommended that all individuals age 6 months or older get a flu vaccination to protect them from developing the flu.

“Influenza and its complications cause an average of 36,000 deaths and 226,000 hospitalizations every year in the U.S. People don’t realize how devastating seasonal flu can be,” said Dr. Dennis McBride, health director for the city of Milford.

The cost of the seasonal flu shot is $20, payable by cash or check. However, because of the temporary expansion of the Connecticut Vaccine Program, the flu shot will be free of charge for individuals under the age of 18.

The Milford Health Department will also offer Fluzone High Dose for individuals 65 years of age and over at its flu clinics this season. Fluzone High Dose is the first and only influenza vaccine designed specifically for people 65 years of age and older. Persons in this age group have a higher risk for complications from influenza, health officials said. The CDC said that each year 226,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 36,000 flu-related deaths occur; it is estimated that 60% of the hospitalizations and 90% of the deaths occur in people 65 years of age or older.

The cost of the high-dose flu shot is $28, payable by cash or check.

People also are encouraged to practice good respiratory etiquette to prevent and reduce the spread of flu this season. Precautions such as staying at home when you’re sick, covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, using and properly disposing of tissues, and washing your hands are important measures to help reduce the spread of serious respiratory illnesses.

For information regarding seasonal influenza, residents may visit the Milford Health Department website at ci.milford.ct.us or call 203-783-3285.

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