Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Health Department Flu Shots Include H1N1 Vaccine

his year's seasonal flu shot, scheduled to be available to the public in October through the Bernards Township Health Department, will include a vaccination against H1N1, popularly known as Swine Flu, eliminating the need for a separate shot, according to the township health department.

The federal Center for Disease Control is distributing this year a flu vaccine containing three strains of flu virus expected to be most prevalent through the upcoming flu season, said Cheryl Komline, health educator for the township health department.

The department has scheduled four clinics for locations where the vaccine will be administered by nurses from the Visiting Nurse Association of the Somerset Hills. The vaccine will be available for those age 18 or older.

Clinics are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13 at St. James Church; Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Chester Field House at Grove Street Park, Chester; Friday, Oct. 22 at Peapack-Gladstone Borough Hall, 1 School St. Peapack; and on Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Bernards Township Community Center, 289 S. Maple Ave., Basking Ridge.

The cost for residents of member towns is $20, and $30 for those who do not live in the department's member communities of Bernards, Bernardsville, Long Hill Township, Mendham Township and Borough, Chester Borough and Peapack-Gladstone.

Those interested in the vaccine are asked to consult with their physicians before receiving the shot. There is no charge to those with a valid Medicare Part B card.

Another change this year is that the CDC is recommending that anyone above the age of six months receive the flu shot, since H1N1 last year was more virulant in younger people, Komline said. However, those younger residents should seek to receive the vaccine from a private physician or other health care provider, Komline said.

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