The clinic, at White Plains’ largest soup kitchen, was arranged to provide flu protection to residents who have no health insurance or no doctor or who can’t afford the $20-$32 fee most pharmacies charge for a flu shot.
Previously, a free flu clinic was held in New Rochelle at the Hope Community Services Soup Kitchen. More than 90 flu shots were provided at the two locations. This was the first time the health department has held flu clinics at soup kitchens.
“This provides a great benefit to our guests, and the opportunity to get a free flu shot was very well-received,”
The vaccine clinic was organized by the county health department and its nurses provided the vaccines and answered questions from participants. The most common concern was whether getting a flu shot could give you the flu. Susanne Calvello, a health department nurse and coordinator of the Immunization Action Program, reassured participants that they could not get the flu from the flu vaccine, because the vaccine is not a live virus.
Sherlita Amler, MD, the Westchester County Health Commissioner, encourages everyone who has not yet done so to get a flu shot.
“It’s important for everyone six months and older to get a flu shot every year,” Amler said. “A flu shot now will provide protection throughout flu season, which can last well into the spring. Good hand hygiene is equally important to stay healthy.”
To avoid spreading flu germs, the health department recommends that you cough or sneeze in to your elbow and wash your hands often. If you do get sick, stay home until 24 hours after your fever subsides. Make sure that you clean surfaces like doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones frequently. Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat healthy food.
Better yet, get a flu shot.