Flu season is swiftly coming upon us, which means flu shot season is here – whether we want to accept it or not. However not everyone in the Bronx is dreading it.
Councilman James Vacca is fully aware that flu season is approaching and views this time of year as an opportunity to help prevent members of the community from catching the flu.
As a result, Vacca, along with Walgreens, will host a flu shot event on Thursday, October 30 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at his district office on 3040 E. Tremont Avenue, Room 104, in an effort to get people vaccinated against the flu.
Vacca is already one step ahead of the game, having already received his flu vaccination at the CVS Pharmacy on 3775 E. Tremont Avenue after pledging a week earlier with 15 other members of the City Council, including Melissa Mark-Viverito and Corey Johnson, to get vaccinated before the influenza season starts as a part of the Health Department’s public awareness campaign.
The pledge, along with the campaign, will hopefully remind New Yorkers that influenza germs are anywhere and everywhere, and that vaccination is the best protection against catching and spreading the infection.
“The flu can be a deadly virus and getting that message out there is very important, ”Vacca said. “At least 2,000 New Yorkers die each year because of the flu, so it’s our responsibility as a community to do whatever’s possible to protect ourselves and each other from this serious virus. I am hosting a flu shot event to do just that.”
According to NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, “The flu, combined with pneumonia – a common complication of influenza – is the third leading cause of preventable death in New York City,” and that “it is important to get your flu vaccine as early as possible and not wait until peak flu season.”
Influenza activity is usually most prominent from January until March, although flu season can start as early as October, which is why, according to Vacca, “It is crucial to get a flu shot sooner rather than later.” Last flu season, approximately 1,836 New Yorkers died from influenza and pneumonia.
Medicare recipients just need to show their card to get their flu shot for free. Others recipients must present their insurance information and may be subject to a co-pay, depending on their particular coverage.
For more information about where to get vaccinated, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/flu for the Flu Clinic Locator.