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Protect Yourself and Your Family Against Respiratory Illness

Published: 10/17/2022

Get your flu shot and COVID-19 boosters

Poughkeepsie… As the traditional flu season arrives, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) recommends residents get the flu vaccine as well as stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.  It is convenient and safe to receive both the flu and Omicron booster at the same time, and both are widely available and free of charge.   Residents are encouraged to talk with their healthcare providers about how these immunizations can protect them against serious illness and hospitalization.

The CDC recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older, particularly people who are at a high risk for flu complications, such as seniors, young children and people with chronic conditions.   Flu vaccines significantly lower the risk of hospitalization and death due to flu. Flu season usually runs from October through May, and typically peaks between December and February.

DBCH Commissioner Livia Santiago-Rosado, MD, FACEP said, “As the weather get colder and people are congregating indoors, it is easier for contagious respiratory illnesses like flu and COVID-19 to spread.    Flu and COVID-19 vaccine are important tools, combined with smart health habits, to protect yourself and your family from serious impacts from these viruses including hospitalization.”

COVID-19 vaccines are also available for everyone 6 months of age and older.  The new bivalent booster, also known as the “updated booster” is also now widely available and provides better protection against the omicron variants, as well as the original strain of the virus.   Bivalent boosters are currently recommended by the CDC for everyone age 5 and older. (The Pfizer booster is available for those 5 and older and the Moderna booster for those 6 and older). These are used as a single booster dose at least two months following primary or booster vaccination. 

Both COVID-19 and flu vaccine are widely available at local and retail pharmacies and through healthcare providers.  Residents can visit to find convenient retail vaccination locations. 

In addition to staying up to date on immunizations, residents are reminded to practice good health habits to prevent the spread of flu, COVID-19 and other viruses including:

  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick

For individuals without access to a primary healthcare provider, DBCH’s family health clinic offers flu as well as first, second and booster COVID vaccines, including the bivalent booster as well as other crucial immunizations. The clinic is located at the Family Partnership Center at 29 North Hamilton Street, Suite 109, in Poughkeepsie. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 845-486-3535 or emailing

To learn more about the Dutchess County Family Health Clinic and all immunizations offered, visit