Borough President James Oddo announced today that he will offer free flu shots at Borough Hall on Wednesday, October 20 from 10 am to 3 pm. No appointment is necessary. Shots will be provided by the NYC Health Department and administered by Affiliated Physicians. Shots will be given at Borough Hall, in room 125.
Seasonal influenza, commonly called “flu,” is a contagious illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract (the nose, throat, and lungs) and can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications.
“We are facing another flu season concurrently while we deal with the COVID pandemic. It is especially important to get your annual flu shot given these factors," noted BP Oddo. "This is a safe, easy step to take to not only protect yourself, but protect those you care about."
Some of the complications caused by flu include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections. The flu can cause mild to severe illness for days, and in some cases can lead to more serious health problems and even death. It is estimated that every year in the United States, about 5% to 20% of the population gets flu, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications. Each year, more than 2,000 New Yorkers die from flu-related illness.
“All New Yorkers should get the flu vaccine as soon as they can in order to protect themselves, their family, and our city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Public health is a team sport, and I thank Borough President Oddo for hosting our vaccination clinic and working to keep our fellow New Yorkers healthy and protected against the flu.”
Those at high risk for serious flu complications include pregnant women, children under five years of age, adults over 65, nursing home residents and people with other serious health conditions.
Additionally, those with any underlying medical conditions can be at increased risk, including:
- Asthma, emphysema or any other chronic breathing disorders
- Heart, kidney or liver disease
- Blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia
- Weakened immune system, from illness or medication
- Neuromuscular disorders that interfere with breathing or the discharge of mucus
- Long-term aspirin therapy in people under 19
- Obesity (a Body Mass Index of 40 and over)
- People living in nursing homes or other care facilities
Caregivers, healthcare workers, and those in close contact with people who belong to a high-risk group should be sure to get a flu shot each year.