2005-01-07 / Community

DOH Urges Seniors To Get Flu Shots

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is now expanding flu shot eligibility to include people age 50 and older as long as supplies permit. Starting immediately, adults 50 and over and other groups (see complete listing below) will be able to get a flu shot from their medical provider or Health Department flu vaccination clinics.

Who Is Eligible for the Flu Shot?

All adults 50 years of age and older;

All children 6-23 months of age;

All persons age 6 months and older with chronic medical conditions, including heart disease, pulmonary disorders (including asthma), diabetes, kidney disease, hemoglobinopathies, and compromised immune systems (HIV or immunosuppressive therapy); All women who will be pregnant (at any gestational age) during the influenza season; All residents of nursing homes and chronic-care facilities; All children and adolescents, age 6 months to 18 years, receiving long-term aspirin therapy;

Health care workers involved in direct patient care; and Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of persons in high-risk groups (e.g. persons more than 65 years; persons with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart or lung disease or weakened immune systems because of illness or medication; and children aged younger than two years).

“The highest priority is still to ensure that every senior gets vaccinated,” said DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH. “Since there is now enough vaccine for this, after reviewing our existing vaccine supply, we are asking doctors to loosen their restrictions and now begin offering flu shots to people 50 and over and other groups. There is still time to get vaccinated this season and, even if you weren’t able to get a flu shot before, call your doctor or 311 about getting one now.”

For more information about flu, or where to get a flu shot from the Health Department, call 311 or visit the department’s webvsite at nyc.gov /health/flu.

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