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Dutchess County Health Officials Strongly Recommend Flu Vaccination This Season
DBCH working to ensure access to flu vaccine for all

Published: 10/8/2020

For More Information Contact:

A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH  (845) 486-3432 

Poughkeepsie ...  As the COVID-19 pandemic  continues, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) strongly recommends everyone who can receive flu vaccine to get their vaccination before the end of October.

“This year, with COVID-19, we will be dealing with two potentially life-threatening respiratory viruses – by themselves, flu and COVID-19 can impact our health and well-being greatly,” said A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH, DBCH Commissioner.  “If an individual happens to become ill with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time weakening their immune system, they might not be able to recover.  Fortunately, flu vaccine is widely available to help prevent or reduce the severity of influenza.”  

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that spread very easily by droplets made when infected people sneeze, cough or talk, or by touching a surface with flu virus on it. 

“The best way to protect your family and yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated. Everyone six months of age and older should receive the vaccine, especially those with chronic health conditions, pregnancy, or 65 years or older,” said Vaidian.  “Last year’s flu season began earlier and had a significant increase in cases early on.  I recommend everyone get their vaccination as soon as possible to ensure your immunity before the flu season begins to peak in November.”

Flu vaccine is readily available throughout the community, including doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and retail stores.  DBCH is currently working with businesses, schools, and community organizations to promote vaccination among workplaces, students.   Additionally, DBCH is outreaching to vulnerable populations who may not have access to flu vaccine, including homeless individuals and migrant workers.

In addition to flu vaccination, the following  protective steps are recommended to prevent flu as well as COVID-19: 

  • Avoid close contact with others, especially if they are sick;

  • Stay home if you are sick;

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water; and

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, school, and vehicles, especially if someone is sick.

Dr. Vaidian recommends getting vaccinated before the end of October to ensure immunity against the flu prior to peak season.  A list of flu vaccination sites is available at www.flu.gov.  Uninsured or underinsured children and adults contact the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health for an influenza vaccination appointment at 845-486-3409 or clinics@dutchessny.gov.  Additional information about influenza can be found on the County’s website at www.Dutchessny.gov/Flu.