The Atlantic County Division of Public Health will offer free flu and COVID-19 vaccination clinics beginning Sept. 27, the county said Tuesday.
The clinics are for county residents 18 and older. Appointments are not needed, but masks will be required.
COVID-19 vaccinations will include the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Moderna vaccine. Participants may receive both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time in different arms.
“It’s one thing for your body to fight flu or COVID-19 separately, but it’s exceedingly difficult and challenging to fight these viruses at the same time,” Kara Janson, acting director of public health for the county, said in a news release.
With the surge of COVID-19 due to the delta variant, county health officials said it will be increasingly important to get an annual flu shot to reduce the risk of two respiratory outbreaks circulating simultaneously.
Though they are different viruses, they have similar symptoms that include fever of more than 100 degrees, chills, body aches, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea.
And both present greater risk to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as heart and lung disease.
People who can avoid the flu will help reduce the burden on a U.S. health care system that is already taxed by the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who get flu shots will help minimize the comingling of flu and COVID-19 patients and the spread of infection from one to the other.
Janson said it may take up to two weeks for flu antibodies to develop in your body.
The flu vaccine cannot prevent all cases of the flu, but it helps reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus and may lessen its severity and duration, Janson said.
Residents can help prevent the spread of both flu and COVID-19 by continuing to practice recommended hygiene protocols including wearing masks, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home if sick, cleaning high-touch items and areas, maintaining physical distance and limiting contact with those infected.
Visit aclink.org/flu for more information.
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WEEKLY WALK-UP CLINICS
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Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (excluding holidays)
201 S. Shore Road, Northfield
Hammonton (as of Oct. 19)
Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
310 Bellevue Ave., Hammonton