News Release

PO 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Christine Grant
Commissioner
For Release:
November 2, 2000
For Further Information Contact:
Dennis McGowan (609) 984-7160
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Flu Clinics Posted on Web

Seniors, Others at High Risk Urged to "Get the Flu Shot & the Pneu Shot"

TRENTON - The Department of Health and Senior Services, in conjunction with local health departments throughout the state, has posted a listing of flu immunization clinic dates, times and locations on its website at www.state.nj.us/health/flu.

Seniors, persons with diabetes and other high-risk state residents interested in getting an annual flu shot or a once-a-lifetime pneumococcal vaccination can visit the site from their home computer or a computer available to the public in most libraries. The website database is updated daily and is searchable by county and by town.

Due to manufacturer production problems, most clinics have received only a portion of their total vaccine order to date and have placed restrictions on who can receive the shot. If you are under age 65, please call ahead to the clinic you wish to attend to find out if you can be vaccinated now or at a later date when more vaccine is available.

"Flu and pneumonia are ruthless killers of older adults, persons with diabetes and other chronic conditions, together claiming the lives of nearly 2,000 New Jersey residents each year," said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant. "This website will help ensure that more state residents know where to get these highly effective vaccinations."

Influenza is a serious illness that causes symptoms that include fever, aches and pains, sore throat, runny nose, and chills. When people over 65 or those with chronic health problems, such as diabetes, get the flu, they are more likely to develop complications which can lead to hospitalization and a loss of independence. A new flu vaccine is developed each year to effectively fight the various influenza viruses expected to be prevalent each winter.

The pneumococcal vaccine is generally given only once to seniors age 65 and older and protects them from almost all the bacteria that cause pneumococcal diseases, such as septicemia, meningitis and pneumonia.

Both vaccines are covered by Medicare and Medicaid and these programs fully reimburse health care providers for immunizing eligible seniors. In addition to private doctors' offices, both shots are available at local immunization clinics held throughout the state each fall by health departments, visiting nurse associations and other health care providers. Some clinics offer both the flu shot and the pneu shot.

People without web access can get information on local clinics by contacting their county office on aging, local health department, through NJ EASE toll-free at 1-877-222-3737, or by calling the Peer Review Organization of New Jersey's Health Hotline toll-free at 1-866-269-4325.

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