Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

October 3, 2013

Health Department encourages flu immunizations

Andover Health Department joined with federal, state and local emergency preparedness officials in celebrating National Preparedness Month in September, suggesting various ways to ensure that residents are ready for any emergency, man-made or natural.

Health officials say one issue that consistently causes concern is the possibility of another flu pandemic.

Flu vaccine has been released to communities and is plentiful this year, they report.

The Andover Health Department is in the process of scheduling flu clinics in town. Hugh-dose clinics have already been conducted for the town’s elderly residents.

Residents are encouraged to contact the Health Department to find out when clinics will be held. Many clinics throughout the state are also posted on a centralized bulletin board at www.mylocalclinic.com/fcss/.

In addition to the traditional shots, many providers offer a nasal mist or a formula that is applied near the skin surface. Manufacturers have also been providing a high-dose version for people over age 65, and formulations that protect against four strains of flu instead of the traditional three.

Health officials say becoming immunized is easy and will help protect not only the individual, but also those around them.

Making it difficult for the flu to be transmitted from person to person is just one way to keep a pandemic at bay. Other ways to protect people include coughing and sneezing into one’s sleeve, washing hands often and staying home when sick.

For more information on the flu, visit www.mass.gov/flu. For updates on local flu clinics, call the Health Department at 978-623-8295 or visit http://andoverma.gov/health/.

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