Seniors, Others at High Risk Urged to "Get the Flu Shot
& the Pneu Shot"
TRENTON – To
stress the importance of New Jerseyans getting immunized against the
flu and pneumonia, Governor James E. McGreevey today received a flu
vaccination from Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R.
state strongly enough the importance of getting a flu shot,
particularly for seniors, persons with diabetes and other chronic
conditions," said McGreevey. "I am getting this shot today to
demonstrate the urgent need for New Jerseyans to visit their doctor or
take advantage of one of the immunization clinics to get their shot."
of Health and Senior Services, in conjunction with local health
departments throughout the state, has made a listing of flu
immunization clinic dates, times and locations available on its
www.state.nj.us/health/flu, at PRONJ's
Health Hotline at 1-866-269-4325 or by calling NJEASE at
persons with diabetes and other high-risk state residents interested
in getting an annual flu shot or a once-a-lifetime pneumococcal
vaccination can visit the site from their home computer or a computer
available to the public in most libraries. The website database is
updated on a regular basis and is searchable by county and by town.
pnuemococcal pneumonia are well recognized as health hazards for older
adults and individuals with weakened immune systems, together claiming
the lives of nearly 2,000 New Jersey residents each year," said Dr.
Lacy. "This website will assist state residents in identifying where
to get these highly effective vaccinations."
Dr. Lacy said
that, in addition to listing the times and locations of clinics, the
site also details the various requirements and restrictions imposed by
clinic sponsor agencies. Some, for instance, are limited to senior
citizens and adults with disabilities, while others will vaccinate
younger adults. The site also identifies which clinics offer the
Influenza is a
serious illness that causes symptoms including fever, aches and pains,
sore throat, runny nose, and chills. When people over 65 or those with
chronic health problems, such as diabetes, get the flu, they are more
likely to develop complications which can lead to hospitalization and
a loss of independence. Flu and pneumonia account for more 2,000
deaths of New Jersey residents each year.
In addition to
the flu vaccine, which must be given each year to cover the strains
that may be prevalent that year, a different and longer-lasting
vaccine is available which offers protection against pneumococcal
bacterial diseases and is also recommended for seniors and other
high-risk groups. The “pneu” shot is generally given only once after
age 65 and contains 85 to 90 percent of the pneumococcal serotypes
that cause diseases such as bacteremia, meningitis and pneumonia.
encouraged to seek these important vaccinations from their doctor as
part of a well-person visit, or at one of the scheduled adult
immunization clinics in their area.
and pneumococcal vaccines are both covered by Medicare and Medicaid,
which reimburse health care providers directly for immunizing eligible
seniors. In addition, New Jersey requires long-term care facilities
and hospitals to offer influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations to
senior citizen residents and patients, respectively.