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Suffolk Notebook: County Exec Urges All to Get Flu Shots

Vaccine 62 percent effective this year, health department says.

An early and intense flu season is putting Suffolk residents on edge, with many scrambling to find a flu shot as supplies dwindle.

It's exactly what County Executive Steve Bellone is urging locals to do.

“It’s not too late to get your flu shot,” County Executive Bellone said in a statement. “This isn’t just about protecting yourself, getting a flu shot is about protecting your family and those closest to you.”

According to Google's map of flu trends across the country, New York is in the grips of an "intense" flu season and The Centers for Disease Control has credited it with causing the death of 18 children across the country.

The CDC also said this year's vaccine is a good match for the flu strains that affecting people, and added that it's crucial that children over six months old get immunized.

“Most people who become infected with the flu will suffer with fever, congestion, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches over the course of a week or two and will eventually recover completely, said the County's Health Commissioner James Tomarken. “However, some are at greater risk for serious complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death. The good news is that immunization can help protect us from the flu.”

On Friday, many local pharmacies ran very low ont he vaccines, with others running out completely.

"Due to high demand caused by the early outbreak of influenza, some of our locations may experience intermittent, temporary shortages of flu vaccine, but we still have vaccine in stock and we resupply our pharmacies and clinics as quickly as possible," Mike DeAngelis, public relations director for CVS pharmacies, told Patch.

The CDC also offered the following tips:

  • Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, local health centers, pharmacies, college health centers and places of business.
  • Though this year’s flu vaccine has shown to be 62 percent effective, some people may still get the flu; however, their symptoms will be milder than if they had not received the vaccine.
  • Students and adults should stay home from school or work if they develop influenza-like illness, such as fever, congestion, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches lasting a week or two.
  • If you do get sick, wash hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes. It’s best to use a tissue and quickly throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. This will prevent the spread of germs.
  • Get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.
  • Individuals who are particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza should seek medical attention at the first signs of illness. This includes adults over 65 years of age, young children, pregnant women, those with diabetes, heart disease, neurological conditions, or chronic lung diseases, such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and those who are severely obese.

County to Host Community Policing Forum

Bellone this week also announced a community policing forum to take place on Jan. 14, at 6 p.m., at the Brentwood Public Library.

Panelists will include Maryann Slutsky, moderator and executive director of Long Island WINS; Beresford Adams, pastor Faith Baptist Church of Coram and president of Brookhaven NAACP; Gregory Maney, professor of sociology and co-director for Hofstra University's Center for Civic Engagement; Suffolk County Police Department Chief James Burke; Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Suffolk County Police Department Risco Mention-Lewis; Assistant Deputy County Executive Errol Toulon Jr. and Luis Valenzuela, executive director of Long Island Immigrant Alliance.

Wendy Tarlow January 14, 2013 at 01:34 AM
wow, you guys need some major paranoia classes of some sort. or xanax. are you all serious? or sarcastic? pretty scary! I don't however disagree with someone like Judi Fouchet who sounds like a reasonable and responsible member of society. if you are sick, stay home and protect your kids from you. or all bunker down till it is over. It is everyone's choice whether they get a shot or vaccine or not. I don't believe in mandatory vaccines or shots. but stay home if you are sick and don't spread it. Protect people. I don't disagree with herbs either. Build your immune systems. I do! I have to. I would be stupid if I didn't seek alternative treatments after being poisoned from chemos and toxic sick crap that is available at this point to keep cancers at bay. Most modern medicine is not good enough and there isn't enough money going to alternative medicines and alternatives that do work but that is our fault as a society that we don't insist that our Government fund more of these programs. We are not Victims but we sure let our Government Victimize the hell out of us.
Frank T January 14, 2013 at 01:52 AM
You need a new doctor. He's a thief if that was an intential charge for a service he did not perform.
Argile January 14, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Anyone remember Richard Daines? He was the head of the NYSDOH back in 2008 and spearheaded the whole campaign against healthcare workers "Get your flu vaccine or be fired." during that whole H1N1 hype. Guess what? He never got the H1N1 vaccine. Neither did President Obama. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/10/20/obama_gets_a_flu_shot_but_not.html FYI his wife worked for Goldman Sachs who is a manager of private client services at Goldman Sachs which funds Novartis (flu vaccine) and other vaccine producers. Immediately following this revelation Gov. Paterson rescinded the mandate citing a shortage of the H1N1 vaccine. LOL yeah, right. Sure there was a shortage... There's a lot of info on this: http://educate-yourself.org/vcd/dainesretreats23oct09.shtml Personally, I have no problems with vaccines except for the flu vaccine. I've been sick with it and without it. But what really cracks me up are all the one's on their soap box saying that everyone should get the vaccine yet are unvaccinated for many other things that are just as dangerous. How many of you have gotten your MMR, Hep B, TDAP, and HPV vaccinations? Yeah I didn't think so. Funny how adults are the first to push children in front of a needle 30+ times but are too cowardly to go do it themselves. You must think you have some sort of super immune system! LOL I'll just call you wussbags instead.
Argile January 14, 2013 at 05:46 AM
You can't compare 1918 to today! LOL The standards of living are a century apart. Today everywhere in the US we have hot food, hot water, medicine, hospitals, shelter, heat, etc. Most people don't even need to leave their homes when they get the flu to recover. In 1918 you'd be lucky if you had a bed and a blanket.
Argile January 23, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Have a side of Narcolepsy with that H1N1 flu shot! http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/22/us-narcolepsy-vaccine-pandemrix-idUSBRE90L07H20130122

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