Health Officer Kevin Thomas encourages all residents of Cape May County to get vaccinated to help protect themselves and others from influenza. “It is that time of year to start thinking about getting your annual flu shot. The timing of the flu season is unpredictable, and it is important to get vaccinated before flu activity starts,” said Thomas. “The flu vaccine is safe and remains the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu. Because the body’s immunity against the flu virus declines over time, and because flu viruses are constantly changing, it is important to get vaccinated every year,” he added. Cape May County residents are encouraged to prevent infection by taking simple everyday measures such as washing hands, using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes and staying at home when sick. These efforts along with getting vaccinated help stop the spread of respiratory illnesses including flu. The Cape May County Department of Health offers many flu clinics throughout the County for all ages and several are already set. To keep up to date on all the County’s flu clinics, check the website at www.cmchealth.net, call the County’s flu hotline at 463-6581, and “like” the Cape May County Department of Health on Facebook.
Early Bird gets the Worm (or free flu shots)! The Department of Health will hold its first free flu clinic on Sunday, September 25th from 12-4pm at St. Frances Cabrini Church, Culliney Hall, located at 2nd St. & Atlantic Ave. in Ocean City. Consent form are available on line, at the Health Department, and will be available at the flu clinic.
Drive-Thru Clinic The Health Department will hold its popular free drive-thru flu clinic for residents 14 years and older on Sunday, October 2nd from 8am-1pm at Kindle Ford Auto plaza in CMCH. For everyone’s safety we encourage residents to fill out a consent form ahead of time. Forms can be downloaded at www.cmchealth.net, they are at the Department of Health, and will be in local newspapers the week before the clinic. Please wear a short sleeved shirt and for the safety of our staff leave your pets at home.
Special Senior High Dose Flu Clinics are scheduled at the various County Senior Centers. The High Dose vaccine is a flu vaccine licensed only for seniors 65 years old and older. The vaccine has 4x the antigen, which is what produces antibodies to fight the flu virus. It is available at no cost for persons who have the following insurance as their primary payer: Medicare Part B, Aetna, CIGNA, Coventry, Humana, United Healthcare, Medicare Railroad, Three Rivers, and United Mine Workers of America. The standard dose flu vaccine is also available for free, regardless of insurance coverage. Please bring your Medicare cards and supplemental insurance cards to the clinic. Consent forms are only available onsite or by calling (609) 465-6848 to preregister. Seniors are encouraged to preregister to decrease wait times.
• Sept. 28th, 1-3pm Lower Cape Senior Center, 2612 Bayshore Road, Villas
• Sept. 30th, 10am-12pm North Wildwood Senior Center, 10th & Central Ave, NW
• Oct. 4th, 10am-12pm Dennis Township Senior Center, 571 Petersburg Rd., Dennisville
• Oct. 13th,10-11am Upper Township Senior Center, 1369 Stage Coach Rd., Oceanview
• Oct. 20th, 9-11am Ocean City Senior Center, 1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City
Children and Families Clinics are for kids older than 6 months of age AND their families. As a reminder, kids less than 5 years of age in daycare or preschool must get vaccinated against the flu each year to attend school after December. Parents are to be aware that on June 22, 2016, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (APIC) voted that the live attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist) should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season, so FluMist will not be available this season at our clinics.
Children and Families clinics are now scheduled on the following dates and locations:
• October 12th, 3-5pm Glenwood Ave. School, Glenwood and New York Ave., Wildwood
• October 17th , 2:30-4:30pm Crest Memorial Elementary, 9100 Pacific Ave., Wildwood Crest
• October 18th, 2:30-4pm, Margaret Mace Elementary, 1201 Atlantic Ave., North Wildwood
• October 19th , 2-6pm CMC Health Department, 6 Moore Rd., CMCH
• October 26th , 4-6pm Upper Township Health Fair, 1790 Rte 50, Tuckahoe
• November 3rd, 11am-2pm, CMC Public Library, 30W. Mechanic St., CMCH
For all County flu Clinics, if you have a severe allergy to eggs, other vaccine component, or if you have been told by a doctor that you have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, you need to receive the flu vaccine from your personal physician. If you have a severe allergy to Thimerosal, you can receive the vaccine from the Department of Health, but not at the drive-thru clinic.