By: Follow South Jersey Staff
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. — This year’s flu season is one of the worst in recent years and the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, so the need is great to ensure that families are as protected as possible before attending holiday events, according to local officials.
The Board of Commissioners and the Camden County Health Department want to remind residents that as the holiday season is approaching, to stay up to date on their vaccinations and boosters before gathering with their loved ones.
“Every year the flu sickens thousands of people and with the COVID-19 virus on top of that, the risk is great for those who are unvaccinated or not up to date on their vaccines,” Commissioner Virginia Betteridge, liaison to the Camden County Health Department, said in a press release from the county. “Being up to date on these vaccines will protect you from getting seriously ill while also protecting those around you this holiday season. We’ve had a tough couple of years with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting this time of year and while we’ve made serious strides in the right direction, we aren’t out of the woods yet.”
In addition to vaccines, other precautions can be taken by washing your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers frequently, coughing or sneezing into elbows or sleeves and wearing a high-quality, well-fitting face mask. Individuals with symptoms should stay home.
“Being fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 as well as the flu will help protect everyone, particularly vulnerable residents such as younger children and older adults, from these dangerous viruses,” Paschal Nwako, the Camden County Health Officer, stated. “Since this fall, we’ve seen a significant rise in flu, COVID-19 and RSV, we must take as many precautions as possible to remain safe and healthy.”
Pregnant women and chronically ill people are other high priority groups. Flu shots are also recommended for people with weakened immune or cardiovascular systems, or with chronic metabolic diseases, renal dysfunction, or blood disorders. Youngsters aged 9 and older must be accompanied by an adult; those under the age of nine are not included in the program.
Flu shots are available every Friday at the Bellmawr clinic, located at 35 East Browning Road in Bellmawr, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted.
Children under 9 need two shots, a month apart, and should be seen by a pediatrician. For uninsured children, call CamCare at (856) 541-9811 or the Bellmawr Health Center at (856) 931-2700.
The Camden County Health Hub administers COVID-19 vaccines from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The clinic will be closed on Thanksgiving. You can make an appointment at the Camden County Health Hub by visiting www.CamdenCountyVaccine.com.
Both the COVID-19 and the flu vaccine can also be administered at pharmacies or doctors’ offices.
For other information, contact the county Department of Health and Human Services at (856) 374-6365 or visit www.camdencounty.com/flu.
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