WESTPORT, Conn. With flu season approaching, flu vaccines are now available at the Westport Weston Health District and residents are encouraged to get vaccinated early, Health District director Mark Cooper announced.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs, Cooper said in a news release. Everyone is susceptible to getting the flu, but rates are highest among children. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times lead to death.
Young children, people over 65, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems can become much sicker and experience complications from flu, Cooper said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated every year.
There are two vaccine delivery options offered at the health district. The first is the flu shot, a vaccine that contains killed virus. This delivery method is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and those with chronic medical conditions.
Theres also a nasal spray vaccine, which is made with weakened live flu virus and is approved for use in healthy people ages 2 through 49 who are not pregnant.
For people 65 and older, a high-dose flu shot is also available. This vaccine has been shown to improve antibody production, thus providing a stronger immune response following vaccination.
To schedule an appointment for a vaccination, call 203-227-9571, ext. 231, or visit the Health District website at www.wwhd.org . Homebound residents of Westport and Weston can call to schedule an in-home vaccination. The cost is $35, and $55 for the high-dose vaccine. Most insurance plans are accepted for payment, so residents should bring their insurance card.
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