If the recent weather we’ve been having is any indication, it is time for all of us to start thinking about flu season.
As many of us know from personal experience, influenza (flu) is an incredibly severe, dangerous, and contagious respiratory infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. Every year, over 2,000 New Yorkers die from the flu and its related complications, and hundreds of thousands more City residents are forced to miss days of work, school, and other important obligations upon infection.
And when you consider the fact that last year’s flu season was one of the worst in recent memory for people across the country, it has become clear that now is the time to protect yourself and your family from this year’s flu virus.
So this season, give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind by getting this year’s seasonal influenza vaccine, or flu shot.
The vaccine, which is safe and widely available across the five boroughs, is the best form of protection against the flu virus. Updated every year to protect against new viruses, the flu shot is recommended for all New Yorkers aged six months or older.
In addition, all children who are 6–59 months old and are currently attending NYC-licensed pre-kindergarten, group child care, or school-based child care programs, are required to receive this year’s flu shot by December 31, 2018.
To learn more about this year’s flu shot, families should speak with their health care providers, visit their nearest pharmacies, or stop by one of the City’s clinics or hospitals. Most insurance plans, including Medicaid, pay for the vaccine, and many locations offer the shot for free or low-cost. Moreover, City public school students who are enrolled in schools that have School-Based Health Centers can receive their flu shots, free of charge.
Need to search for vaccination locations by neighborhood or zip code? Visit nyc.gov/flu, text flu to 877877, or call 311.
On behalf of the DOE, we wish everyone a safe and healthy winter season!