Mayor Mark A. Smith reminded Bayonne residents of the importance of continuing flu vaccination through December and beyond. Mayor Smith said, “I would like to remind the public that it is not too late to get vaccinated against influenza, because the flu can occur as late as May. The vaccine is available at numerous locations in Bayonne, such as pharmacies and doctors’ offices.” Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or the worsening of chronic health conditions.
Those at high-risk include: children younger than 5 years; people 65 years of age and older; pregnant women; and people with certain long-term medical conditions. Those conditions include asthma, diabetes, heart disease, neurological and neuro-developmental conditions, blood disorders, morbid obesity, kidney and liver disorders, HIV or AIDS, and cancer. Flu vaccination should also be a priority for those persons who live with or care for persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications. This includes healthcare personnel and household contacts of children less than six months of age, since children younger than six months are too young to receive the flu vaccine.
People with certain medical conditions and histories may or may not be able to be vaccinated. People in the following categories should consult their primary care physicians before receiving flu vaccination:
- Anyone on potent blood thinners (Coumadin, Heparin, or Lovenox)
- Anyone actively receiving chemotherapy, radiation, or immunosuppressant drugs such as large doses of steroids
- Anyone diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or who has had Guillan-Barre Syndrome
- Anyone who is pregnant or nursing
- Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to previous vaccines, chicken eggs, Merthiolate (mercury derivatives), Benadryl, or Epinephrine
- Anyone who is sick with a fever
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a wealth of information about influenza available through its web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/NIVW/index.htm. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) encourages health care providers to make use of these valuable materials in promoting flu vaccination for the remainder of the flu season. New Jersey residents can also visit the Flu Vaccine Finder at http://nj.gov/health/flu/findflushot.shtml to find vaccination locations near them.