-The Department of Health and Senior Services, in conjunction with
local health departments throughout the state, has posted a listing
of flu immunization clinic dates, times and locations on its website
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
and pneumonia are relentless killers of older adults, persons with
diabetes and other chronic conditions, together claiming the lives
of nearly 2,000 New Jersey residents each year," said acting
Health and Senior Services Commissioner George T. DiFerdinando,
Jr., M.D. "This website will help ensure that more state residents
know where to get these highly effective vaccinations."
DiFerdinando said that in addition to listing the time and location
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 pneumococcal vaccine.
thing visitors to the website will notice is that clinics are scheduled
later in the season than in past years. Flu vaccines are traditionally
given in early to mid-autumn, but manufacturing problems last season
resulted in many adult immunization clinics being cancelled and
private medical practices having difficulty obtaining vaccine for
ensure that last year's problems do not resurface, the department,
the Medical Society of New Jersey and the Peer Review Organization
of New Jersey, Inc. (PRONJ), in concurrence with the federal Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that adult
immunization clinics not be scheduled before late-October or early-November
and that they run at least through the end of December. Most local
health departments, visiting nurse organizations and other clinic
sponsors have followed that recommendation.
is a serious illness that causes symptoms that include 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.
addition to the flu vaccine, which must be reformulated each year
in anticipation of the strains that may be prevalent that year,
a longer-lasting vaccine offering protection against pneumococcal
diseases is also recommended for seniors and other high-risk groups.
The pneu shot is generally given only once after age 65 and contains
85-90% of the pneumococcal serotypes that cause diseases such as
bacteremia, meningitis and pneumonia.
are 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.
flu and pneumococcal vaccines are both covered by Medicare and Medicaid,
which reimburse health care providers directly for immunizing eligible
seniors. To ensure that seniors participating in Medicare Plus Choice
wishing to can receive their flu and pneu shots at local immunization
clinics, the department facilitated an expansion of cost reimbursement
agreements between the program's managed care organizations and
local health departments. In addition, New Jersey requires long-term
care facilities and hospitals to assess for and offer influenza
and pneumococcal vaccinations to senior citizen residents and patients,
without web access can get information on local clinics by contacting
their county office on aging, local health department, by calling
NJ EASE toll-free at 1-877-222-3737, or by calling PRONJ's Health
Hotline toll-free at 1-866-269-4325.