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South Nassau, Nassau County Offer No Cost Flu Shots to Area Adults, Children

Vaccines offered in Long Beach & Oceanside on Thursday, February 22

Posted: Feb. 20, 2018
South Nassau, Nassau County Offer No Cost Flu Shots to Area Adults, Children

It is not too late to get your flu shot. In a continuation of ongoing public service and education to protect as many residents as possible during this widespread, dangerous and protracted flu epidemic, South Nassau Communities Hospital, in collaboration with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, will provide no-charge flu shots on Thursday, February 22 from 4-7PM at South Nassau’s Family Medicine Centers located at 196 Merrick Rd. in Oceanside and 761 Franklin Blvd. in Long Beach.

The flu shots are only for adults and children who have not had a flu vaccination this year and will be provided while supplies last.  There is no need to schedule an appointment. There is no out of pocket cost and no one will be turned away if you don’t have insurance.

South Nassau is making some of their own flu vaccine supply available to the public. The Nassau County Department of Health has donated pediatric and adult vaccines to South Nassau to assist in their efforts.

“The flu shot is considered the single best preventive method against the flu,” said Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, South Nassau’s Department of Medicine Chair and Hospital Epidemiologist, who also is a spokesman for the Infectious Disease Society of America. “The vaccine may not be 100 percent effective, but it will help reduce the severity of the flu and its symptoms. Considering the high prevalence of the flu and the fact that it will carry on into April, if you haven’t been vaccinated, yet, please do so; it is never too late to get vaccinated.”

“The message remains that it is not too late to get your flu shot,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “We are happy to partner with South Nassau Communities Hospital to provide additional vaccines and bolster the hospital’s supply.”

Influenza is widespread on Long Island, according to recent statistics by both Nassau and Suffolk County Health Departments. This year’s flu season has been particularly severe, inflicting hundreds of adults and children statewide. As of February 10, the number of patients statewide hospitalized with laboratory confirmed influenza reported to the New York State Department of Health is 14,354. The state has also reported that the flu had taken the lives of five children.  In an attempt to keep local residents healthy and avoid the flu, Nassau County has sponsored three clinics for residents to receive no-charge flu shots. This will be the fourth clinic offered by the County and their first partnership with a health care institution.

On February 8, South Nassau released the results of their first ‘Truth in Medicine’ poll of 2018 on supplement use. The poll found that almost half of metro area New Yorkers report taking unregulated dietary supplements such as vitamins, essential oils and probiotics- some in attempt to ward off colds and the flu - but 39 percent of those who take supplements for that purpose have not had a flu shot. The Poll, sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, is a quarterly survey of 600 metro area residents that aims to gather data about public attitudes on key public health topics and help spur public education to improve public health.

In addition to preventing many people from getting sick from flu, Dr. Glatt points out the following facts about the vaccination:

  • You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine;
  • Protecting yourself from flu protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.  This includes your family and friends, besides all of your patients;
  • Flu vaccination protects people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated);
  • There is no benefit to “waiting’ to get the vaccine. The sooner you are vaccinated, the earlier you are protected; but you can benefit from the vaccine even if you don't get it until after flu season starts;
  • Flu vaccination reduces the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations and deaths;
  • Flu vaccination is not perfect, however, it will probably make your illness milder if you do get sick.

Other flu prevention advice Dr. Glatt strongly recommends, especially for those who decide against vaccination, is as follows:

  • Maintain a distance of three feet or more from individuals who are ill and are coughing and sneezing;
  • Wash your hands frequently;
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill and keep sick children out of school or day care;
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing a fever accompanied with severe muscle aches and pains. Doctors can offer antiviral treatment to reduce the duration and severity of infection. (Note: This must be started within the first 48 hours of symptoms.);
  • Frequently wash shared and commonly handled surfaces (telephone, door handles, etc.) with disinfectant cleansers;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (or your arm) when you are coughing;
  • Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes with your hands.

Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for outstanding nursing care, South Nassau® Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 455 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,500 employees.  Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services.

In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty, and offers Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies.  South Nassau operates the only Trauma Center on the South Shore of Nassau County verified by the American College of Surgeons as well as Long Island’s only free-standing, 9-1-1 receiving Emergency Department in Long Beach. South Nassau is the only hospital on Long Island in 2018 to achieve Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery™, Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ and 5-star rating for Total Hip Replacement, and it was one of just two hospitals on Long Island to achieve Healthgrades 5-stars in Hip Fracture Treatment. South Nassau also is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons, and is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program.

In addition, the hospital has been awarded the Joint Commission’s gold seal of approval for disease-specific care for hip and knee replacement, heart failure, bariatric surgery, wound care and end-stage renal disease. For more information, visit www.southnassau.org.