Contra Costa Health Services Partners with Maxim Health Systems to Host Flu Clinics
For release October 5, 2005
In order to increase the availability of flu shots this year, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is partnering with Maxim Health Systems to host flu vaccination clinics in November in many cities of Contra Costa.
During the first two weeks of November, there will be flu shot clinics for seniors and the general public nine years old and over in nearly every community in Contra Costa including the following: Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Martinez, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo and Walnut Creek.
Schedules for these clinics are available by calling CCHS at 925-313-6469 or online at cchealth.org. For other flu clinic locations and dates, information is available at 877-962-9358 or by logging on to the American Lung Association's website www.flucliniclocator.org. For children under nine year old, Contra Costa flu clinic information is available by calling 1-800-246-2494.
People over age 65 are asked to bring their Medicare card with them to see if their Medicare Part B covers the cost of the flu shot. The fee for flu shots is $10, but no one is denied if they are unable to pay.
Influenza, also known as the flu, causes an estimated 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year. It is highly contagious, with the disease peaking during the winter.
Although children should not be immunized against influenza before the age of six months, it is a highly effective and safe vaccine for everyone beyond that age and particularly important for certain populations, said Dale Jenssen, Immunization Manager for CCHS.
Foremost among these populations, said Jenssen, are seniors age 65 or older, infants 6-23 months of age, pregnant women, and children and adults who have a chronic disease such as those of the heart, lung, kidney or blood.
"It's equally important for those people in regular contact with those groups, especially health care workers, because the disease is so contagious," said Jenssen. In fact, she said, the state and federal governments have determined that those groups have priority in receiving flu shots until October 24. After that date, flu vaccine will be available for all persons who want to protect themselves against the flu this winter.
People in good health between the ages of 5 and 49 are eligible to receive the nasal-spray vaccine called FluMist at any time.
As with other health issues, Jenssen said, CCHS is working to resolve health disparities between different ethnicities in Contra Costa. She said substantially fewer African Americans in the county are getting flu shots as compared to other races and ethnicities.
For more information about influenza, health disparities or other health topics in Contra Costa County, visit the Contra Costa Health Services website at cchealth.org and click on Health Topics.
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