HILLSBOROUGH, NJ -The Somerset County Department of Health is sponsoring a drive-through flu shot clinic at the South County Public Works Garage, 410 Roycefield Road, on Saturday, Oct. 12th, from 9 a.m.- noon.

Shots are free to any Somerset County resident 18 and older. Short sleeves are preferred.

Drive-through shots will also be administered on Saturday. Oct. 19th, from 9 a.m.-noon at TD Bank Ballpark, 860 East Main St., Bridgewater, NJ 08807. The free clinic, which is open to residents age 18 and above, will be located in the Red parking lot adjacent to the stadium. Please wear short sleeves.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people get vaccinated as soon as possible, but preferably before the beginning of flu season, which is the end of October. Be aware that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

Flu symptoms can last for days or weeks and can include fever, cough, sore throat, a runny nose and muscle and body aches. It is also important to know that complications from the flu can be life threatening and even result in hospitalization or death.

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. It is also important to practice good health habits such as staying home when sick, handwashing with soap and water,  and covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.

The Somerset County Department of Health sponsors the local drive-thru flu shot clinics. For more information and for up-to-date flu season information, call 908-231-7155 or visit www.co.somerset.nj.us/health.

More than 80,000 people died from the flu in 2017-18 in the United States, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least 180 of these deaths were children – that is a record-breaking death toll – the highest since the late 1970s, according to the CDC.

Flu deaths in 2017-2018 were nearly 10,000 higher than the estimated number of people who died from drug overdoses, and almost double the number of those estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes. The CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in up to 35.6 million illnesses, as high as 710,000 hospitalizations, and almost 56,000 deaths annually since 2010.