OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department will open walk-in clinics for influenza (flu) vaccinations beginning Monday, Oct. 4. Clinics will run from 9-11 a.m. and from 1-3 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said, with the ongoing pandemic, it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot to protect yourself, your family and your community.
“While COVID-19 continues to spread in our county, seasonal flu comes around every year during the colder months,” he said. “A flu vaccine this season can help to protect individuals and reduce the burden on our healthcare system, which is already overtaxed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone age six months of age or older receive a flu vaccine.
Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
Oswego County Director of Patient Services Vera Dunsmoor added that COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than the flu and causes more serious illness. “It can also take longer before people show symptoms and they can be contagious for longer periods,” she said. “Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are similar, so it may be hard to tell the difference between them and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.”
Huang said that practicing good health habits can help prevent the spread of disease. “In addition to vaccinations, wash your hands often and observe safety practices in public spaces,” he said. “Stay home if you are sick and keep your kids home from school if they are sick.”
For more information about influenza call the County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/seasonal/.
For more information about COVID-19, go to the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or call its COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330. Phone lines are open from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response within the county of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department works closely with New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 monitoring, response, and reporting.