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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

FLU NOW WIDESPREAD IN NEW YORK STATE

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting the flu vaccine - it's not too late!

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert inform residents that the New York State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, has declared that influenza (flu) is now widespread in New York, with many flu cases reported in Rockland County.

Rockland is currently experiencing one of the highest rates of flu cases when compared to other counties in the state. Visit the New York State Department of Health Influenza Activity, Surveillance, and Reports webpage for the latest information on flu activity in our area. Influenza viruses can spread year-round; however, the flu season usually occurs in the fall and winter. The number of reported flu cases typically reaches the highest point between December and February, although flu activity can last as late as May.

The best way to prevent the flu, and its complications, is by getting the flu vaccine each year. It's not too late! The Health Department will be giving the flu vaccine on Fridays, until March 27th, from 11 am to 12 pm, by appointment only. Call (845) 364-2534 for more information and to make an appointment.

The Health Department is offering the flu vaccine free of charge if you:

  • are 65 years and older. (please bring identification with proof of age.)
  • have Medicare or Medicaid. (please bring your card.)
  • or are uninsured or underinsured.

There is a $20 fee for those six months through 64 years old. Only cash or checks will be accepted. For those with private health insurance, we will provide you with a receipt to submit to your health insurance for possible reimbursement. The Health Department is giving the quadrivalent flu vaccine, which does not contain preservatives, including thimerosal. The vaccine is called quadrivalent because it offers protection against four different flu virus strains that research shows will be most common during this flu season: two influenza (flu) A virus strains and two influenza B virus strains. It is recommended that you wait for 15 minutes after being vaccinated so you can be observed for any reaction.

The flu vaccine offers protection for you through the rest of the flu season. "Anyone who hasn't gotten a flu vaccine yet should do so now. It takes about two weeks after getting the flu vaccine for your body to build the antibodies (infection-fighting cells) it needs to protect from the flu," said Dr. Ruppert.

For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine, visit our Influenza (Flu) page or for additional places to get your flu vaccine, visit www.flu.gov/.

Please see our cancellations page for up to date information on meeting, event, class and exam cancellations and/or postponements.