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Flu Express offering vaccine on Monday

Keithley Maynard receives his annual flu shot from Luz Lambert registered nurse with the Department of Health at the Flu Express in 2015. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Department of Health will begin to offer influenza shots on Monday as part of their seasonal campaign.

The shots will cost $10 for adults and children, however those over the age of 65 will be able to receive their shot for free.

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious infection that causes fever, aches, a sore throat, coughing, fatigue and a runny or stuffy nose.

A spokeswoman said: “Flu vaccine can keep you from getting flu, make flu less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading flu to your family and other people, especially newborns and young infants, children, seniors and persons at risk of complications from the flu.

“It can help reduce absenteeism from work or school due to influenza.

“By protecting yourself against influenza, you are also protecting your family, your household, your workplace and ultimately your community.”

Between 10am and 4pm on Monday and Tuesday, the Department of Health will offer flu shots at the National Sports Centre Pavilion through its Flu Express programme.

“The Flu Express will enable people to and receive the flu vaccine while waiting in their car, without having to get out, weather permitting,” the spokeswoman said.

“This will make it easier for some people to access the vaccine.”

Only those ten and over can receive the vaccine through Flu Express, and flu injections will only be offered at the Flu Express to those in good health without active infections.

The department are also offering a free shuttle service from City Hall to the Sports Centre between 10.15am and 3.15pm on Monday to help people get their shots.

The flu vaccine will also be available at the island’s Health Centres and at the offices of most private physicians.

The department said those over the age of 65 should receive a shot, along with:

• Healthy adults who are in close contact with the elderly, infants and children, and any persons with chronic medical conditions

• Children aged ten years and older

• Healthcare workers, caregivers and essential service workers

• Persons that have received the flu shot each year

• Persons who are clinically obese with a BMI greater than 40

• Persons with chronic health problems that are at risk of complications from the flu, such as diabetics, asthmatics and those with heart disease.

However those who have had a negative reaction to a past flu shot, are allergic to chicken or egg products, or who already have a fever should not get the vaccine.