Flu season has begun, though cases are sporadic. Now is a good time to get your flu vaccine. It is the main way to prevent the flu and its complications.

There are no Rockland County Department of Health flu vaccine clinics scheduled at this time, however you can call the Health Department at (845) 364-2520 to make an appointment to get your flu vaccine.

The Health Department offers the flu vaccine to residents 9 years and older. The vaccine is free of charge to adults 65 years and older (please bring identification with proof of age). Patients with Medicare and Medicaid must bring their cards. There is a $30 fee for those 9 through 64 years old. Each patient must bring proof of Rockland County residency such as a driver's license or utility bill. It is recommended that you wait for 15 minutes after being vaccinated so you can be observed for any reactions.

The Health Department is giving the quadrivalent flu vaccine which does not contain the preservative thimerosal. The vaccine is called quadrivalent because it offers protection against four different flu viruses that research shows will be most common during this flu season: two influenza (flu) A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Talk to your doctor before getting the flu shot if you have an allergy to eggs or any of the ingredients in the vaccine (talk to your doctor about your allergy); and if you are not feeling well (talk to your doctor about your symptoms).

The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year.

Additional flu vaccine clinics may be scheduled once the flu becomes more widespread. For more information check back here or call (845) 364–2520.

For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine visit these websites:

To download or order educational posters and brochures (in multiple languages) visit www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/seasonal/educational_materials.htm