Find a neighborhood vaccination center by calling 311 or using the Interactive Locator at NYC.gov. For general information on the flu, click here.
Mayor Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas A. Farley received flu shots today at Duane Reade in lower Manhattan and urged all New Yorkers to get vaccinated. Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that, together with pneumonia, is the third leading cause of death in New York City. Influenza season in New York typically starts in the winter months, peaking in January through March. Getting vaccinated before influenza transmission peaks is the best way to prevent infection from the virus and the suffering that comes with it.
“Getting the flu is no fun at all, and it can even be deadly,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Every year, too many New Yorkers lose their lives to influenza, and the flu vaccine is the single most important protection against getting sick and spreading the flu to others. I urge everyone to go to their doctor, local health clinic or pharmacy and get a flu vaccination as soon as they can.”
“Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year,” said Health Commissioner Farley. “But for more vulnerable people, like adults 50 and older, people with medical conditions, pregnant women and children under 5 it is especially important to ward off coming down with influenza by getting vaccinated. While maintaining good personal hygiene – washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home when ill – helps diminish the spread of the virus, getting the flu vaccine is the best ‘shot’ we have going to prevent flu-related death and illness.”
“We are proud to have Mayor Bloomberg reinforce to all New Yorkers the need for protection and prevention with his flu shot,” said Walgreens market vice president Jeff Koziel. “Through greater access to immunizations across our network of Duane Reade and Walgreens pharmacies throughout New York we are helping more customers get, stay and live well. For those who have not gotten a flu shot yet, it is prime time for prevention with changes in the weather, the upcoming holiday travel season and many other ways in which germs and viruses spread this time of year.”
Influenza symptoms include high fever, dry cough, fatigue and all-over body ache. Nationally, influenza is estimated to kill an average of 23,600 people and hospitalize over 200,000 people annually.
Getting vaccinated in New York City has never been easier. Contact your medical provider to get vaccine for children and adults. Any New Yorker 18 and over can get vaccinated at their local pharmacy and most pharmacies accept health insurance. In addition, the City’s BigAppleRx discount prescription drug card offers a discount on flu vaccine Flu vaccine is also available from Health Department Immunization clinics, and the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) offers free or low-cost vaccination at all of its hospitals and community health centers.
In 2011, about 67% of New Yorkers 65 and older received a flu vaccine. While this is an increase from the previous year, when 63% were vaccinated, it still means that 1 in 3 people over 65 are not protected from influenza through vaccination. Additionally, coverage rates for black New Yorkers lags behind the city average; less than 6 in ten African Americans were vaccinated in 2011 (59%). For children under 18, only 2 in five received at least one dose of vaccine last year. Vaccinating children is especially important in reducing the transmission of influenza.
Anyone can find a nearby vaccine outlet by calling 311 or searching under “flu” or “Flu Clinic Locator” on NYC.gov.