Latimer and Health Commissioner Urge All Residents to Schedule a Flu Shot and COVID Booster Today
(White Plains, NY) – Flu season is officially upon us, and to encourage Westchester County’s residents to stay healthy and safe, County Executive George Latimer will roll up his sleeves and get a flu shot and the bivalent COVID booster at the Health Department Clinic in White Plains. Latimer will be joined by Board of Health President Dr. Robert Baker, who will also receive his flu shot and COVID booster.
The Westchester County Health Department will offer both the flu vaccine and COVID-19 bivalent booster by appointment. every Monday and Friday in October from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 134 Court Street in White Plains. The clinic is closed for the holiday on Monday, October 10.
Latimer said: “As we have seen since over the past two years, COVID-19 infection rates tend to rise during the fall and winter months, and the same goes for transmission of the flu. We should all be taking careful precautions to prevent the spread of COVID and the flu, and getting your vaccines will help us do that. It is strongly recommended to get both the bivalent COVID booster and the flu shot at the same time, to better protect yourself from both illnesses.”
Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “Combining vaccines is safe, and it is much more convenient to schedule both at the same time. Children often receive multiple shots at once, and you are much less likely to skip a vaccine if both are given together. Vaccines for flu and COVID-19 offer the best protection we have to fight these diseases, so the sooner you get vaccinated, the better.”
Go to www.westchestergov.com/health to book your vaccine visit. Flu shots are available for anyone age three and older, and high-dose flu vaccine is available for people ages 65 and older. Children may receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as they get a flu shot on Friday mornings this month. Bivalent COVID-19 boosters are available for adults and children ages 12 and up who received their most recent COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago.
The Health Department also will hold a pop-up flu and COVID-19 vaccine and bivalent booster clinic at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Center, on Thursday, October 6 from 2 to 6:30 p.m. in the Main Entrance Atrium and Second Floor Children’s Library. Appointments must be reserved online at www.westchestergov.com/health.
The County Health Department is on track to provide up to 2,000 flu vaccines this fall. Flu shots are available for a fee from many area pharmacists and medical offices.
Amler added: “We look to how flu behaves in the southern hemisphere for clues as to how our flu season will shape up. Australia just had its worst flu season in five years, and it started two months earlier than usual. Australian children and teens had the highest rates of flu among all age groups. We want to avoid a twin-demic, so please schedule both flu vaccines for everyone six months and older and COVID-19 boosters for everyone eligible as soon as possible. Vaccination protects you and it protects those around you who are more vulnerable to flu complications, such as infants too young to be vaccinated, seniors and people with chronic health conditions.”
In the U.S. flu activity is usually highest between December and February, but can last into May. One flu vaccine now provides protection all season long and can prevent illness or reduce the severity of flu symptoms. The vaccine becomes fully effective after about two weeks.
Amler said anyone who does get a respiratory infection should consider COVID/influenza testing. To avoid spreading germs to others, it is recommended that residents wear a mask; cough or sneeze into their elbow; wash their hands frequently with soap and water; stay home until 24 hours after their fever subsides to avoid spreading germs; clean surfaces they touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones; and get plenty of rest.