Health department to open flu vaccine clinic on Sept. 11

The Allegheny County Health Department will open its influenza vaccination clinic at 3441 Forbes Avenue, Oakland, on Tuesday, September 11.

“Opening our clinic on 9/11 underscores the role of preparedness in fighting the flu. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get influenza vaccine each year,” said Acting Health Director Dr. Ron Voorhees.

The clinic will offer flu vaccine, while supplies last, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Wednesdays, from 1 to 8 p.m., with free parking available after 4:30 p.m. in the lot behind 3333 Forbes Avenue. No appointment is necessary.

The vaccine will be provided free of charge to children from six months through 18 years old and as a covered benefit to people with Medicare Part B who are not in an HMO and may get vaccine from any Medicare-approved provider.

Injectable vaccine is $25 for others, including Medicare Part B subscribers in an HMO who are restricted to getting flu vaccine as a covered benefit only from their primary care provider.

Nasal spray vaccine, approved for people from 2 through 49 years old who have no chronic medical condition, is free for children and $10 for those 19 through 49.

A limited supply of injectable flu vaccine without thimerosal will be offered free of charge to children from six months through 18 years of age. Please call 412-687-ACHD (2243) in advance to make sure it’s available.

The vaccine protects against three strains of influenza virus expected to circulate this season – H1N1 Type A, H3N2 Type A, and a Type B influenza virus.

Influenza is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that can cause mild to severe illness, sometimes leading to death, primarily in the elderly and the chronically ill.

Health officials report there are many sources of flu vaccine and ample supplies are expected to be available this flu season. Anyone who wants the vaccine should be able to get it.

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