SOMERVILLE – Somerset County Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, liason to the Somerset County Department of Health, urges residents to get their annual flu vaccination.

The Somerset County Department of Health will administer free flu shots to eligible residents on Tuesday, Jan. 14th, from 4-6 p.m. in the Somerset County Human Services Building, located at 27 Warren St.

Residents must not have had a flu shot this season and be 18 years or older.

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The flu is a contagious viral infection that can result in serious complications such as hospitalization and even death.  Mostly the virus affects the respiratory system such as the nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.

Receiving a flu shot is the safest and best way to guard against influenza. It can help prevent spreading the disease to others, may reduce the need for doctors' visits and missed days at work, and can also help people avoid flu-related hospitalizations and even death.

It is not too late to protect yourself and your family from the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza (flu) activity peaks between December and February, but flu outbreaks can last as late as May. It takes about two weeks for the body to develop an immune response, so it is better to get the vaccination sooner rather than later.

Getting a flu shot and taking everyday preventive actions such as avoiding sick people, and washing your hands can reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with the flu, stay home to prevent spreading the virus. For more information about how to help prevent the flu, visit http://bit.ly/HelpPreventFlu.

For information about flu clinics, contact the Somerset County Department of Health at 908 231-7155 or HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us.