The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders advises residents to prepare for the 2014 – 2015 flu season by getting vaccinated against the flu. In addition to many pharmacies and medical offices, public flu clinics are making flu shots available now.

“Please avail yourself of the resources at hand, to protect yourself and help prevent flu outbreaks from spreading,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “If you get your shot now, it will protect you throughout the flu season.”

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At public flu clinics, the flu vaccine is affordably priced and may be free for eligible residents in some circumstances. Residents are advised to call ahead for information on fees, and to confirm availability, before visiting a public flu clinic.

The following health departments have announced public flu clinics for September and October in Union County:

Kenilworth (via Union Township Health Department, (908-851-8507)

Plainfield (908-753-3092)

Roselle (908-259-3032 or 908-259-3039)

Springfield (via Madison Health Department (973-593-3079, ext. 9)

Union (908-851-8507)

A complete schedule of public flu clinics in Union County, including locations and contact information, is available online at the County website, ucnj.org.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of six months, especially for persons aged 65 years and older regardless of whether or not they have chronic health conditions.

Other persons specially recommended for flu shots are residents of long-term care facilities, persons aged 2–64 years who have chronic health conditions, children aged six months or older who attend licensed child care centers or preschool activities, pregnant women, healthcare personnel who provide direct patient care, and caregivers of infants less than six months old.

People infected with flu can infect others before symptoms start, and up to a week after becoming sick. Flu viruses spread through coughing and sneezing, or by transfer from an infected surface to the mouth, eyes, or nose.   

In addition to getting vaccinated, residents are advised to wash hands with warm water and soap often, always cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when feeling sick.

For more information on flu prevention, including an online pharmacy locator and more details on health department clinics in Union County, visit ucnj.org/what-to-do-about-the-flu.

Please join the County of Union online at ucnj.org, on Facebook at ucnj.org/facebook, and on Twitter at twitter.com/countyofunionnj.