It has been over 200 days since the first COVID-19 positive case in New Jersey.
We've been working together for the last six months to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We've been separated from family, friends and colleagues. Some of us have lost loved ones to the illness. Many of those who have recovered from the illness still struggle with long-term health effects, and many families have been financially devastated.
However, COVID-19 is not the only virus that we need to deal with. As we continue to grapple with the pandemic and the temperatures get colder, the flu season is right around the corner.
This state is preparing for the possibility of a twindemic, a severe flu season and a resurgence of COVID-19, which could strain healthcare resources.Getting a yearly flu vaccine helps to protect you and those around you who might be especially vulnerable to respiratory disease. The flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19; however, the vaccine can reduce flu illnesses and hospitalizations. Since the two diseases have similar symptoms, people who get the flu might opt to get tested or go into quarantine as a precaution. Therefore, widely vaccinating against the flu can reduce unnecessary COVID-19 testing for the most vulnerable. According to Infection Control specialists at the University of Chicago, those whose immune symptoms have been compromised by either of the two illnesses are at a greater risk of contracting a more severe case of the other one. Additionally, flu patients and COVID-19 patients require many of the same treatments, including oxygen and ventilators, so it is critical to minimize the competition for these scarce resources.
September and October are good times to be vaccinated. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging residents to get vaccinated by the end of October. It takes two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu infection. That's why it's best to get vaccinated before the flu starts to spread. However, you can get vaccinated anytime while the flu virus is circulating, even after January.
The Mendham Township Health Department will hold two flu vaccination clinics this year. The clinics will be on Thursday, October 15th from 4:00pm - 6:00 pm and Saturday, October 17th from 9:00am - 11:00am. Both clinics will be held at the Emergency Services Building in the EMS Bay (2 West Main Street, Brookside). Residents 65 and older will not be charged and are asked to bring their Medicare Part B card. Residents 18 - 64 years will be charged $35 (cash or check made out to Township of Mendham). Appointments are required. Please call (973) 631-5353 to book your appointment.
In addition to the Mendham Township Flu Clinics, there are many locations to receive your flu vaccine, such as your healthcare providers' office, federally qualified health centers, and local pharmacies. Visitnj.gov/healthfor additional locations to get your flu vaccine.