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Seasonal Influenza

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Seasonal Influenza ("The Flu")

Flu shotsSeasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot each year. Influenza causes a lot of illness, and can be very serious. The timing of the flu season changes each year and is unpredictable. It is important to be protected before flu activity starts!

High-Dose Flu Vaccine: The high-dose vaccine is a flu vaccine licensed only for seniors. It is available at no charge for persons who have the following insurance as their primary payer: Medicare Part B, Aetna, CIGNA, Coventry, Humana, Medicare Railroad, Three Rivers, United Healthcare, and United Mine Workers of America. Please bring your Medicare card and supplemental insurance cards to the clinic. Call 609-465-1187 to schedule an appointment for the high-dose flu vaccine.  If you have other insurance as your primary payer, you may be able to receive the high-dose flu vaccine from your physician or pharmacy.\

The pneumonia vaccine is also available for $15.

Flu Vaccination Clinics

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The Health Department has a limited number of flu vaccines available, which will be given by appointment only. No additional flu clinics will be held this season. Call 463-6581 for more information.

For All County Flu Clinics:

  1. Persons with a severe allergy to eggs, other vaccine component, or who have been told by a doctor that they have had Guillain-Barre syndrome must receive the flu vaccine from their personal physician.

Daycare and Preschool Vaccine Requirements: The New Jersey Department of Health requires all children 6 months through 59 months of age attending any child-care center or preschool facility to receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine between September 1 and December 31 each year. Children who are not vaccinated will not be able to attend school until the end of the flu season, which is currently estimated as the end of March.

Keep Informed!

Facebook LinkIf you’re on Facebook, “like” the Cape May County Department of Health to receive updates on public health information and local events.

Who Should Be Vaccinated 

Everyone older than 6 months is recommended for flu vaccination with rare exception. The following lists include all people recommended to get the flu vaccine and those who should not be vaccinated without first  consulting their healthcare provider. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions regarding which flu vaccine options are best for you and your family.

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications: 

  • Pregnant women and women who may become pregnant during flu season
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions or who are immunosuppressed
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • American Indians/Alaskan Natives
  • Persons who are morbidly obese (BMI =40)
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    • Health care workers
    • Household members and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated

Some people should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. They include:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs. Ask your doctor about the new egg-free version of the flu vaccine.
  • People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous influenza vaccine.
  • People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
  • Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group).
  • People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.

If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health-care provider.

Information on This Year’s Flu Vaccine

Information about this year’s inactivated flu vaccine:

 Inactive Flu Vaccine Info  Inactive Vaccine SP

Information about this year’s live intranasal flu vaccine:

 vis_flu_live_ENG.jpg  vis_flu_live_sp.jpg

Click here for information about Thimerosal, which is a preservative in some forms of flu vaccine.

Flu Activity in Cape May County

The Cape May County Monthly Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) Surveillance Update is a monthly report which provides information on influenza-like illness activity, specifically for Cape May County.

Educational Resources 

Key Facts About the Flu
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Influenza Questions & Answers
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Key Facts About the Influenza Vaccine
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Preventing the Flu
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Treating the Flu
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Follow this link for information for a Summary of 2011-2012 Flu Activities

Return to Overview

The seasonal flu season peaks between late January and late February in New Jersey. There is plenty of time to get a seasonal flu shot and be protected. 

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