Are you thinking about getting flu shots in New York? Here are some things to consider.
Can I get free flu shots or mist in New York?
Free flu shots and mist are available from some business such as CVS, Rite Aid, Target and Walgreens in New York but may require Medicaid or an insurance plan to be free of cost to you. For free locations and updates, please contact NYCDOHMH or New York City’s 311 Service. You can also use the flu shot locator (redirects to HealthMap Vaccine Finder) which was provided by Google Maps to find locations as well.
How can I tell the difference between a cold, the flu and allergies?
To tell the difference, please see the helpful video on colds, flus and allergies.
How will my child be treated against the H1N1?
Your child will receive treatment against the H1N1 via flu shots or flu mist. Please note that flu mist may cause runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, and fever in some children so be sure to speak with your health care provider.
Are flu shots and mist available everyday?
No. Flu shots and flu mist are not available everyday.Unfortunately, some locations that administer the vaccine are closed on Federal holidays so you will need to schedule accordingly. Also, if numbers exceed the capacity of the clinic, they may have to turn you away those others seeking treatment.
Will one vaccine help prevent the flu?
Yes but minors (usually those under the age on eleven (11) years old) may be required to get the vaccine twice (2 times), thirty days (30) days apart so please keep this in mind if you plan to travel.
How do I get information if I do not have a computer at home?
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has put together some helpful information, which you can download here by going to your local library or by calling the New York City’s 311 Service. Those with mobile phones may also text “HEALTH” to “87000” for information from the (CDC) Center for Disease Control.
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
Everyone, specially if you have children. This is highly recomended if you are more than 55 years old, suffer from any chronic condition like asthma or diabetes, have to take aspirin, etc.
Why Should One Get Vaccinated?
An estimated half a million (500,000) people have died in the US since 1957 of flu-related conditions. In some epidemics in the past, 2 million (2,000,000) people would die worldwide in one single year! And, not necessary sick people. But also young, strong, working people.
Besides, if you do not get immunized, you can pass on the germ to the your close ones. Your young children, your elderly parents, your bosses and co-workers, your sick patients and customers. All these will be at high risk to become statistics themselves.
Last but not least, if you do not get vaccinated, some other person can sneeze on you or kiss you, shake your hands, or share their personal belongings (utensils, telephone, etc) with you and give you the virus. The least which will then happen to you is to be sick (fever, cough, muscle pain, vomiting, etc.) for a whole week. You will have to miss work or school which is fine for some but you can also miss that wedding or trip you really did not want to miss.
What If You Were Vaccinated Last Year?
The virus changes its genetic code every year. It is like the Toyota Camry. It is the same car, but different every year so, you have to take it again.
Can You Get Influenza From the Vaccine?
Not a chance. The virus in the vaccine that is given to you and your close ones is a killed virus. The only side effects of the vaccine are some muscle aches, and little fever for (24-48 hours) a day or two.
Important. There are a lot of respiratory infections manifesting themselves with cough, sneezing, fever that you can develop during the winter. Those are not caused by the influenza virus, though we often call them ‘flu’, by lack of better pop terminology. Remember, that the real flu (influenza) is a serious infection which kills people, mostly children and the sick and the elderly.
Can You Be Allergic to the Vaccine?
Unfortunately, you can allergic to the vaccine (mostly if you are allergic to eggs) and is one excuse people use to avoid the vaccine. So call your doctor and/or go to the Emergency Room if after taking the shot you develop a bad rash, real high fever, a rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing. You are not supposed to but allergic reactions to the flu vaccine are very, very rare and should not be an excuse for anyone to skip a yearly shot. And remember, more than anything, it protects your child.
Can This Shot Save Your Life?
It can and does save millions of lives each year. It may have saved your life last year but you did not know because you had your vaccination.
Join us in our New York Forum if you have any comments or questions.