BERNARDS TWP. NJ – The Bernards Township Health Department is scheduled to begin offering flu shots in Basking Ridge and at locations in the department's other member towns throughout October, considered to be the beginning of the annual flu season.

Seasonal flu infections can begin as early as October and can continue as late as May, according to the health department. The flu is considered to be vaccine-preventable; the serious illness is a contagious, respiratory illness caused by a virus and is characterized by sudden onset with fever, headache, aches, chills and extreme exhaustion. 

Seven dates scheduled, appointments not required

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The Bernards Township Health Department has scheduled seven dates for seasonal flu shot clinics  at multiple locations in October. All vaccine used at the clinics is quadrivalent, which means that it protects against four viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

All clinics are open to those four years old through adults, and appointments are not required. 

Five clinics will are scheduled to be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. These clinics are scheduled to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at St. James Church, 184 S. Finley Ave. in Basking Ridge; Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Mendham Area Senior Housing (MASH) at 1 Heritage Drive in Mendham; Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Long Hill Township Town Hall, at 915 Valley Rd in Gillette; Friday, Oct. 19, at the Peapack-Gladstone Municipal Building, 1 School St. in Peapack; and on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Bernards Township Community Center, 289 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.

The remaining two clinics are scheduled held from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Bernardsville Library, 1 Anderson Hill Road in Bernardsville; and on Tuesday, October 23, at the Bernards Township Community Center, 289 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge. 

Cost is $25 for residents, no charge with valid Medicare Part B card

The cost of the flu shot is $25 for residents and $35 for non-residents. There is no charge for those with a valid Medicare Part B card. Participants should consult with their doctor before receiving the flu vaccine. Clinical services are provided by the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills. For additional information, call (908) 204-2520.

The health department issued the reminder that New Jersey law requires that children up to 59 months of age attending any licensed child-care center or pre-school facility, must receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 of each year. To assist parents in obtaining this vaccination for their pre-school child, the Bernards Township Health Department has scheduled its seasonal flu shot clinics to include children who are age 4 and older in addition to administering flu shots to adults.

The Bernards Township Health Department is the contractual health agency serving Bernards Township, Bernardsville Borough, Chester Borough, Long Hill Township, Mendham Borough, and Peapack and Gladstone Borough. For more information on the flu, and how to prevent it and determine if you have the flu, visit the Bernards Township health department website at http://www.bernardshealth.org/SeasonalFlu.aspx.