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Albany County Executive Urges Residents to Get Flu Shots

1/19/2018 4:43:30 PM

State Cites Sharp Increase in Number of Flu Cases

Executive Daniel P. McCoy and Albany County Department of Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen, MD today reported that data recently released by the New York State Department of Health indicates a sharp increase in the number of influenza reports across the state for the week ending January 13, up 54% from the previous week. In Albany County, there have been 326 reports of lab confirmed influenza with 159 in the past week. Data also indicates many hospitals are operating at capacity statewide and staffing concerns due to staff infected with the flu.

“There is no shortage of the flu vaccine and the health department urges anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to get a shot immediately,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.

“It’s not too late to get a shot to protect yourself,” said Dr. Whalen. “While there are reports of low vaccine effectiveness in the media, they should be interpreted with caution and even with unmatched strains of influenza, vaccination has been shown to decrease the severity of illness and hospitalization and cuts in half the risk of pediatric death from the flu.”

Healthcare providers are encouraged to continue providing the flu vaccine and are encouraged to treat patients with antiviral agents. Vaccinations are also available at many local pharmacies.

The county offers flu shots for county residents at the Health Department at 175 Green Street in Albany. Call 447-4589 to make an appointment. The Health Department accepts most insurance plans and will bill Medicare Part B for individuals aged 65 and older. Individuals should bring their insurance card to their appointment. If the insurance plan is not accepted, the cost of the flu vaccination is $25 payable at the time of service. For those without insurance who are unable to pay the full cost, a sliding-fee scale will be used.

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy