Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

May 3, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

Still time to get your flu shot!

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are reminding residents that there's still time to get your flu (influenza) vaccine to protect you through the rest of this flu season. Even though flu activity in the country continues to decrease, the flu is still widespread in New York State, which means the flu season is not over yet. Hospitalization rates this season have been record-breaking. In the latest week of flu surveillance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an additional 4 flu-related pediatric deaths occurred, bringing the total number of flu-related pediatric deaths this season to 160. The flu vaccine is quite effective in children this year at 59%.

According to the New York State Department of Health, vaccinations should continue throughout flu season, as long as flu viruses are circulating. Flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, but remains the best way to prevent illness and flu complications, including those that can lead to hospitalization. Even when flu vaccine does not prevent illness, it still lessens the severity and shortens the duration of the flu.

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. For those 6 months through 64 years old, there is a $20 fee. 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.

Call the Health Department at (845) 364-2534 to make an appointment to receive the flu vaccine, or check with your doctor and your child's doctor, or visit to find other flu vaccine clinics in our area.

"The flu is a serious disease. It can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. The most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu is by getting a flu vaccination. It's not too late," said Dr. Ruppert.

Since the flu virus can spread through coughing or sneezing, it is especially important for family members and people who have regular contact with high-risk individuals to be vaccinated. Those at highest risk for complications from flu include people 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women and people of any age with chronic, long-term health problems such as heart or lung disease, kidney problems, diabetes, asthma, anemia, HIV/AIDS or other illnesses that suppress the immune system.

For more information on the current flu season and how to protect yourself and your family, visit the State Health Department web site at To find a flu vaccine near you, visit