For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Zandra Lee, Public Health, PIO, (510) 981-5356
BERKELEY OFFERS FREE FLU SHOT CLINIC
The City of Berkeley Public Health Division Responds to New Federal Recommendations: Free Flu Clinic for the Whole Family
Berkeley, California (Tuesday, October 14, 2008) - It's not just Grandma who needs a flu shot this year-- children 6 months old and up should get one too, as well as everyone around them. To ensure that all families are protected from influenza, Berkeley's Public Health division is giving free flu vaccines at a Free Flu Clinic.
This year, the Center for Disease Control has recommended that every child between the ages of 6 months and 18 years be vaccinated, except those with a serious egg allergy.
The Free Flu Clinic will have standard flu shots available for anyone older than 6 months and nasal vaccine (FluMist) for all healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 all at no cost.
That's especially good news for children and parents: FluMist means no needles!
WHAT: Free Flu Clinic (With Councilmembers Linda Maio and Maxwell Anderson attending at 3pm)
WHEN: Tuesday October 28, 2008 3 pm - 7 pm
WHERE: Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave. (Seniors and those needing special assistance should enter on Curtis Street.)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: (510) 981-5300 or www.CityofBerkeley.info/publichealth
But why all children over 6 months this year?
Healthy school aged children have higher rates of flu than any other age group.
- During the 2007-2008 flu season, there were 73 deaths among children nationwide. Each year, the flu puts 20,000 children in the hospital. The vast majority have not had their flu shots.
- The common flu is the number one reason for school absenteeism.
- Research has shown that children are the key spreaders of the flu to their friends and family.
- Parents can avoid taking sick days at work to care for family members stricken with the flu.
Dr. Janet Berreman, Health Officer for the City of Berkeley's Public Health Division, reminded Berkeley residents that almost all family members need a flu vaccine.
"It is also extremely important that those over 50, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and people who care for or live with anyone in those groups get their flu vaccines as well. That means virtually everyone should get a flu vaccine," Dr. Berreman said. "By protecting ourselves from flu, we also protect our families and neighbors."
You can download a flu clinic form, print it, fill it out, and bring it with you- that will make your visit go faster. Download the form here www.CityofBerkeley.info/publichealth. Forms will also be available at the flu clinic.
This event is hosted by the City of Berkeley Public Health Division and sponsored by the Berkeley Unified School District.