October typically ushers in the flu season, and health officials are urging everyone at least six months old to get a flu shot soon, as it takes two weeks for the vaccine to start working.
The City of Stamford Department of Health and Social Services and Stamford Hospital will kick off their annual joint “Fight the Flu” campaign with a press conference on Tuesday, October 2. Influenza vaccination will be available to the public immediately following the press conference. Residents can also receive their flu shots on scheduled dates at the Tully Health Center.
Beginning at 10 a.m. at the Stamford Government Center at 888 Washington Blvd., local residents will be able to receive free flu shots.
According to USA Today, last year’s flu season was relatively mild compared to previous years, although 34 still died from the disease. Approximately 85 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in preparation for the season. Annually, approximately 5-20 percent of the population reportedly catch the flu.
“The more people who get vaccinated, the less chance it has of spreading,”said Mary Lenzini, CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut. “It is a pretty effective vaccine.”
Lenzini strongly encourages elderly people, people with medical issues and pregnant women to get the shot, which is covered by most insurance companies or otherwise is around $14. It is children who are the most likely to pass around the disease, but adults actually get sicker from it, she said.
According to the Connecticut Department of Health, the flu is spread through the air. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, aching muscles and a dry cough.
The vaccine can be acquired at the doctor’s, clinics, pharmacies and sometimes schools.
Paul Petrone contributed to this report.