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First Few Flu Clinics Coming Up

Public Health officials are planning vaccination clinics and coping with a cut in state-supplied vaccination doses.

First Few Flu Clinics Coming Up

Lexington’s Department of Public Health will hold its first two flu clinics of the fall season on Wednesday Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 8. The first clinic is for residents aged 60-years and older and the Saturday clinic is for families.

Due to a decreased amount of vaccine from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the town will vaccinate residents on first come, first served basis, officials said.

“We have a limited amount of vaccine and residents will be vaccinated on a first come, first served basis, based on priority groups set by MDPH,” said David Neylon, the town’s public health nurse. “These groups include those at high risk for complications from the flu (those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes) who are uninsured or underinsured (those whose health insurance will not cover the cost of vaccination), and children 18-years and younger.”

The first clinic, for residents 60-years and older, will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon at parish hall. Flu and pneumococcal vaccine will be available at this clinic.

The second clinic is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to noon at . At this clinic, public health workers will vaccinate residents aged 4-years and older and will offer flu shots, Flumist, pneumococcal vaccine and Tdap, a vaccine that protects against Tetanus and Pertussis, or “whooping cough.”

According to Neylon, the Lexington DPH will have more clinics this flu season, which will be scheduled as vaccines become available. Lexington has been affected by the decrease in the amount of vaccine the town will receive from the state DPH, but the state supply will be supplemented by flu vaccine the town purchases itself, Neylon said.  

The town is able to purchase vaccine for residents because it is reimbursed for through the health insurance providers of residents who write down their information upon receipt of vaccine at a town clinic.

Still, residents need not depend on the clinics. Primary care physicians and pharmacies, like CVS and Walgreens, are other places to look for the flu vaccine.

“Some good ways people can stay flu free are by frequently washing their hands, covering their cough in their sleeve, or using a tissue and then throwing it away, keeping their hands away from their face, and staying home when they are ill,” Neylon said.

For more information, contact the Office of Community Development’s Health Division and Health Director Gerard Cody at 781-862-0500 ext. 237. If you would like more information on the flu and flu vaccine, please visit www.mass.gov/flu and www.flu.gov.

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